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SHB Information Literacy Guide: Starting a Search

A Demonstration

This video from the University of North Carolina Greensboro demonstrates how to select key words for your topic.  "From Question to Keyword," by UNCG Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.



Building a Search


One of the best ways to improve your research results is to build a list of keywords.  Sometimes it can be difficult to tap into the right words that will lead you to the information you need.  Try this strategy...

1)  Write three words that might help you get information on your topic.
2)  Then write three synonyms or related words for each.
3)  Try searching using different combinations of these words.
4)  If you find a good source, look for "subject terms" in the record for the item.  Use these terms in new searches.
Example Topic:   
Keywords College Athlete Pay
Should college athletes be paid to play?
Synonyms university sports salary
  collegiate basketball money
  higher education players compensation

You might also want to try this keyword generator created by University of Texas at Austin: