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SHB Oostburg High School: Organizing search terms

Finding keywords

A keyword is a word that you commonly use to describe your subject.   When you search a catalog or database, your search results are a list of books or articles that match the keywords you used.  Finding the right words is the "key" to successful research!

Ways to brainstorm keywords:

  • Ask yourself questions about your topic and write down words that you use. 
  • Do some background reading on your topic--from encyclopedias, news articles, text books, etc. Add words you find to your list.
  • Consult a thesaurus or dictionary for synonyms for your terms, such as Bartleby Reference.
  • As you begin searching, look at the "subject terms" or other terminology in the records you find. Use these terms in new searches.

More guided practice with key words!

Check out this handy tool from the University of Texas!  You brainstorm the words and the generator creates a search!

Constructing a search from your question

What educational benefits do online charter schools offer?

CONCEPT 1

 

 

 

AND

 

 

CONCEPT 2

 

 

 

AND

 

 

CONCEPT 3

"charter schools"

 online

 performance

  OR

  OR

  OR

"school reform"

 technology

 grades

 

  OR

  OR

 

 internet

 achievement

Constructing a search from your question

What writing skills are important for librarians to provide effective email reference service?

CONCEPT 1

 

 

 

AND

 

 

CONCEPT 2

 

 

 

AND

 

 

CONCEPT 3

librarians

"email reference"

writing

  OR

  OR

  OR

library

"virtual reference"

"written communication"

  OR

 

 

libraries