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English Writing 300/33 - College Composition (Borders)

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 where I use some of the words and phrases I learned about in the newspaper articles I shared with you during our live session:

  • Enter keywords that represent your topic:   
  • Limit searches to two or three keywords:  independent gas stations       
  • Don't search with sentences, questions, or long phrases.
  • Combine terms with OR to broaden:  
    oil refinery
    OR petroleum refinery (these would find either items)
  • Combine terms with AND to narrow:  California AND gas blends (this would only find items with both these phrases)
  • Place quotation marks around words you wish to be searched as a phrase: "gas tax"

Video by CRC Library