For example, if you were looking for a pizza place close to SSU, you might type Pizza Rohnert Park into Google. Pizza and Rohnert Park are your keywords.
When you search in the library, you will be most effective when you use multiple keywords. Databases can be picky. To come up with keywords, identify synonyms to your concept, and think about what words might be used in the library's resources.
Say that we're interested in researching the broad idea of technology's effect on society. We've used our five Ws to brainstorm topic ideas, and have decided to look into how using Facebook affects relationships. In order to most effectively search for information on my topic, I should come up with multiple key terms to put into my searches. By doing this, I am able to cast a wider net for my information search.
To come up with a series of keywords, you can brainstorm, alternative words, synonyms and antonyms. For example, for Facebook, I can come with a number of terms:
|Alternative terms||Similar options||Antonyms|
|Social Media||Local Community|
|Social Networking||SnapChat||Face-to-Face Interaction|
I should do this with each one of my keywords, and then put them together into phrases such as:
I have many choices! That's good news, because the first search I try usually isn't exactly right.
Watch this short video from University of Houston Libraries to learn more about developing keywords.