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Geography 300 & Geology 305 (Pittman)

Selecting Keywords and other Search Tips

One of the greatest challenges in starting a new research project is deciding which search terms best describe your topic as you begin the search for resources.  Try to be really succinct/to the point and use just a couple of keywords instead of typing long sentences. The video explains all of this quickly (less than 2 minutes!), so please watch it now. Here are few more tips:

  • Enter keywords that represent your topic:   
  • Limit searches to two or three keywords:  Sierra Nevada Vegetation        
  • Don't search with sentences, questions, or long phrases.
  • Combine terms with OR to broaden:  
    BLM
    OR Bureau of Land Management (this would find items with either the acronym or the full phrase)
  • Combine terms with AND to narrow:  Point Reyes AND geology  (this would find items with ECE and special needs)
  • Place quotation marks around words you wish to be searched as a phrase: "lake bed deposits"

Keywords Video

Video by CRC Library