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SHB PHI205: Keywords

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.

Constructing a search from your question

What are the positive and negative effects of friendship between supervisors and employees?

Concept 1

 

 

 

AND

 

Concept 2

 

 

 

AND

 

 

Concept 3

friendship

supervisors

employees

OR

OR

OR

friend

boss

personnel

OR

OR

OR

relationship

manager

subordinates