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SHB Oostburg High School: Organizing search terms

Tamala Szyman

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 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