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- Gather possible search words
- use words in your assignment prompts and readings as search words
- brainstorm synonyms for search words. Example: hunger = famine, starvation
- brainstorm broader search words. Example: a broader search word for "hunger" = food insecurity
- brainstorm narrower search words. Example: a narrower search word for "developing countries" = Bangladesh
- Strategize: Use different words and different search tools
- plan to search in different search tools (try several library databases, the internet..etc.)
- in each tool:
- First, try broad searches, such as: famine
- Then, combine words to narrow and focus searches, such as famine "third world" "genetically modified foods"
(click on image to enlarge)
- Combine search words with AND to narrow your search. Example: hunger AND developing countries
- Put quotation marks around words to find phrases. Example: "genetically modified foods"
- Use OR to find synonyms for words and concepts. Example: hunger OR famine
- Option: Click "full text" to limit results to full text articles
- Option: Click "peer-reviewed" or "scholarly" to limit results to scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles
Video: How to Use Keywords to Form a Research Strategy