Library Research: A Step-By-Step Guide

Use this guide to learn more about the research process

Identifying search words

Make a list of a variety search words

  • Think of synonyms: different words and phrases people use when they discuss your topic
  • Consider broader and narrower words 
  • Also think of alternate spellings and abbreviations
  • collect more search words through your research 
  • ask a librarian for help in finding words that are used in your topic's area of study

Combining search words with AND & OR

Using the Boolean Operators

Watch the short video below about using the Boolean AND, OR, and NOT limiters

Identify search words and strategies

Keep this checklist with you to help you ask questions that will organize your research.

Download the “Identify Search Words and Synonyms” brainstorm chart