PHE 443U - Environmental Health: Articles & More
Environmental Health Databases
Brainstorming Keywords for Your Topic Video
This quick video explains how to turn your topic into keywords while searching for library resources and sources on the Web.
Moving from a Research Question to a Search Strategy in 4 Steps
Moving from a research question to an effective search strategy involves breaking down the question into its Core Concepts, brainstorming Keywords, and then constructing an effective Search Strategy. You can do this in 4 steps.
1. Articulate your research question
Is union representation good for public employees in Oregon?
2. Break down your research question into its core concepts.
- Union Representation
- Public Employees
3. Now list alternative ways of describing these concepts.
Your list can include broader, narrower, and related concepts.
|Union Representation:||Collective Bargaining||labor union||labor dispute||SEIU|
|Public Employees:||workers||state worker||employee||staff|
|Oregon:||Pacific Northwest||Washington||United States||Portland|
4. Create multiple search strategies by combining words from your concept brainstorm list.
- Union AND employee AND portland
- (Labor Union OR collective bargaining) AND state work* AND oregon
- Use truncation (an * at the root of a word to find different word forms. For example, librar* will find libraries, librarian, librarians, etc.
- Use parentheses and the OR operator to "nest" your search--different terms/phrases that represent the same concept.
- Use quotation marks for phrase searching.
- Use Boolean operators to connect search terms:
- OR -- finds results with either or both terms -- it is used to broaden your search.
- AND -- finds results with both terms -- it is used to narrow your search.
Acknowledgement: The content in this box was based off of Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh's work at Georgia State University Library.