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English 111 - Menendez: Keywords & Search Strategies

This guide provides search strategies and recommended resources for research in English 111 with Dr. Melissa Mendendez.

Identifying and Using Keywords

Keywords are the words you type into a search box to search for information on your topic. The words you use to describe your topic may be different from the words used in the library catalog (OneSearch) and library databases. For example, another way to describe teenagers might be adolescents.

Watch the video below for a short tutorial on keywords, including some good strategies for combining them effectively. If you have trouble finding information on your topic, ask a librarian for help choosing successful keywords.

Identifying Search Strategies

The following video discusses different search strategies for finding information based on the type of information you need (from off campus you will need to log in using your Pipeline username and password):

What-Where-How Search Strategy

Try using the What-Where-How approach to developing a search strategy, by identifying what specific information you need, where you might find that type of information, and how to search for it.

For example, if your topic has to do with religious freedom and workplace accommodations for daily prayer for Muslims in the United States, you might develop the following strategies for finding different kinds of information related to this topic.

WHAT

The specific information you need.

WHERE

The type(s) of source(s) that might include that information (books, articles, websites, etc.) and the search tools (OneSearch, databases, Google, etc.) that will help you find those sources.

HOW

The search terms and search techniques you will use to search.

Background information about workers' rights and religious freedom in the workplace

Type of source: encyclopedia

Search tool: reference database 

Keywords: religious freedom; freedom of religion; workplace; work; workers; employees; law; rights

Techniques: experiment with different keywords

Daily religious practices of Muslims

Type of source: book

Search tool: library catalog (OneSearch)

Keywords: Islam; Salah 

Techniques: Identify and search by subject heading (Religion Islam theology)

Number and percentage of American workers who are Muslim

Type of source: United States Census or other government website

Search tool: Google

Keywords: Muslim workers; Muslim employees; United States; statistics; census

Techniques: Use site:.gov to limit the search to government websites

Public opinion about workplace accommodations for daily prayer for Muslim workers

Type of source: news articles and broadcasts

Search tool: library news database or Google

Keywords: Muslim workers; Muslim employees; workplace; religious practice; prayer; accommodation; public opinion; public reaction

Techniques: experiment with different keywords

Scholarly information and arguments about workers' rights and religious freedom in the workplace

Type of source: scholarly book/chapter or peer-reviewed journal article

Search tool: library database or OneSearch

Keywords: religious freedom; freedom of religion; workplace; work; workers; employees; law; rights

Techniques: Limit results to peer-reviewed sources; use religio* to find sources that have the word religious or the word religion in the same results list and work* to find work, workers, and workplace

Images of protests advocating for workplace accommodations for daily prayer for Muslim workers

Type of source: Photos or videos 

Search tool: Google image search or video search

Keywords: Muslim workers; Muslim employees; workplace; prayer; religious freedom; United States; protest; demonstration

Techniques: Limit results by size for images big enough to include in a presentation, by usage rights for images to be used publicly, and/or by date for recent images

Download the document below to save or print the What-Where-How approach: