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ENG 111: College Writing (Sp '20): Search Strategies

Keyword Searching



Brainstorm for Keywords

  • Describe your topic in one or two sentences.
  • What are the main concepts/keywords?
  • Are there other ways to describe or summarize those concepts?
  • What are some synonyms for your keywords?
  • Try different combinations of keywords for different results.

Advanced Searching

Find Subject Headings in EBSCO Databases

  • Use keywords to find a good article
  • Click on the title
  • Click the "Detailed Record" icon on the left side of the screen
  • Use Subject Terms to focus your search
  • Look at the Abstract for additional keywords


Using Advanced Search

  • Combine subject terms to focus your search even further
  • If available, use a drop down box to search by subject
  • Use quotation marks to search a phrase


Boolean Operators

Using Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT) with your keywords will help you narrow or expand your results.

The highlighted middle section represents the use of AND. Searching for poverty AND addiction will give you results with both words present. Therefore, your results are fewer.

Using OR between similar keywords will give you results that include both words. Therefore, your results are greater. A search for teenagers OR adolescents will retrieve either or both terms.

The NOT operator gives you results from only one of your words. Therefore, your results are fewer. Searching for addiction NOT alcohol will eliminate alcohol from the results.

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