Keyword searching is the core building block of doing good research. If you choose solid keywords, your results will be stronger and more focused!
The video Keywords - A Quick Guide offers a look at developing keywords from a topic sentence or research question. The information in Searching 101 will guide you through the steps of choosing keywords, key phrases, and synonyms.
Finally, there's the One Perfect Source? video, reminding you that you will rarely find one source that answers all your questions!
Make a list. Check it twice! (Don’t know anything about keywords? Watch the Keywords:A Quick Guide video on this page!)
Here's an example.
My topic is "Text messaging is harmful to teen literacy."
My keywords in this topic are "text messaging" and "harmful", "teen", and maybe "literacy". (We will discuss that last one in a minute!)
My "related words" (synonyms!) lists might look like this:
Now I can mix and match - pick two or three words from different lists and use those as my initial search.
Sometimes you have tricky words like literacy. There's no one word that means the same thing, but you can make PHRASES out of other words, like combining "reading" and "proficiency" to make a key phrase: "reading proficiency".