Keywords are the terms that you type into the search box in a library database. They are the essential terms for your idea, the most important words describing your topic.
Before you can begin searching for information in a resource, you need to identify keywords related to your topic.
Key terminology can be be found by scanning:
Think of related, broader, and narrower terms connected to each of the key concepts.
Use subject terms assigned to works in library catalogs or research databases.
TIP: Make a list or use a chart to keep track of keywords related to your topic; this is sometimes known as a "word bank." Keep it by your side when you start your research. Make note of which keywords return the most relevant results. It's a dynamic process and you may have to experiment with several synonyms.
Below are common search techniques that you can apply when searching in the library catalog, databases, and search engines to quickly find more relevant sources to use in your research:
Remember to keep track of the terms you've used (both those that worked and those that didn't).
Most databases allow you to limit your search results by
Try using these to remove results that do not fit your needs.