3.3 Generating Search Terms

In order to do the most effective literature search, we need to come up with good search terms. Follow these easy steps to generate search terms.

 Three Steps to Search Terms:
  1. State your research topic 
  2. Identify the main concepts in your topic
  3. Come up with keywords for each concept

 

Note:

When you have good search terms, you can get better search results, faster!

 

 

1. State your research topic

What are you interested in studying?

What information do you want to find?

 

 

 

 

2. Identify the main concepts in your topic

What are the key concepts?

Look for subjects like “whale”, not action words like “effect” or “impact”

 

 

 

 

3. Come up with keywords for each concept

How many ways can you state each concept?

Look for synonyms, related or alternate words

Make a list of all keywords for each concept

 

Tip

Make a chart to keep track of your concepts and keywords

Concepts Keywords
1. Global warming Global warming, climate change
2. Whales Whales
3. Migration Migration, movement

 

License

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Library Skills for 2nd Year Biological Sciences by Lauren Stieglitz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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