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Writing Tutors' Guide to Information Literacy: Topic/Keywords/Search





Think about your topic and how you would describe it in your natural language and also by using any specialized vocabulary.  Think about synonyms and brainstorm alternate terms.  Think of related terms, broader and narrower terms.  These terms are your keywords.


To find information with

  •  all the words:  search using AND to combine the ideas
  •  an exact phrase:  search using the word(s) in quotes
  •  any of the words:  search using OR  

Research Framework

Research Framework

  • What is your topic?
  • What is your research question or thesis statement?
  • What are the most important keywords or phrases from your research question or statement?
  • What are synonyms and related words that you can alternately use?

As you conduct your research reading about your topic, note and document the different words and phrases associated with your topic to use in your search strategies in the library catalog, databases, search engines, etc.

Subject Guide

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Tracey Amey
Madigan Library