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ENGL 1120

Building an effective search with the keyword worksheet

To build an effective search for a database it is best to use keywords instead of phrases.

A good strategy for building a keyword search is:

1. Develop a clear topic statement 



2. Draw out the concepts from the topic statement

Main Concepts (Keywords) of Topic:




3.  Create a list of synonyms for each of the principal concepts


Synonyms for Keyword 1:


Synonyms for Keyword 2:


Synonyms for Keyword 3:

4.Conduct searches using the keywords and synonyms you have selected for a Boolean search (see window below)

       5.Add more synonyms to your list as you encounter them in your research