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Keyword Searching

This tutorial will teach you how to search the library databases using keywords.

HCC Library Reference

on 28 April 2015

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Transcript of Keyword Searching

Keyword Searching
This tutorial will teach you how to navigate research databases using keywords.
Most databases don't understand natural language (the way we speak normally) so we need to use
when we search them. Keywords are your topic's
main ideas
most important concepts.
What is keyword searching?
To come up with keywords, it can be helpful to think of your topic as a
research question
. This is a question you're trying to answer through your research.

For example, if your topic is "
social media
," that's way too broad. Narrow your topic down by turning it into a question.
How do you come up with keywords?
This is a research question!
"How does social media affect high school students?"
Once you have a research question, pull out the
key concepts
or most important ideas.
The italicized words are your key concepts, or "keywords!"
"How does
affect ?"
It's good to have some alternate keywords or synonyms.
Social Media
High School Students
secondary school students
young adults
That way, if your first keywords don't work, you have some other options.
They can also help you narrow down your search...
Or expand your search!
Watch a demonstration.
View in full-screen mode by hovering your mouse over "More," then selecting "Full Screen."
If you're having trouble coming up with alternate keywords, some databases (like Academic Search Premier) offer suggestions.
Try using some of these "Subjects" terms as alterate keywords. (If they fit your topic.)
That was Academic Search Premier. Depending on your topic, however, you might get better results using a different database.
Remember, you can contact a librarian for database suggestions, or for help with research in general:

(Connect your keywords with
to narrow results.
Ex: social media AND teenagers)
between synonym keywords to get

Ex: social media OR social networks
social media
high school students
social networks
To receive credit for completing this tutorial, TAKE THE QUIZ AT:
Full transcript