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English 110 - Smith: Keywords

This guide provides students with recommended resources for research in English 110 with Natsuki Smith.

Developing Search Terms

Sometimes the words you use to search a topic are different from the words used by library databases. As you search, discover new ways to describe and narrow your topic.

For example:

  • Fracking is also called hydraulic fracturing.
  • Searches for human trafficking, sex trafficking, modern slavery, and forced labor all bring up different results.
  • Add words that can narrow your search, like a specific place or group of people, or add words like cause, solution, or effect.
    • Example: marijuana college students effect
  • If you have trouble finding information on your topic, ask a librarian for help.

How to Search 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.