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VTCC: Keywords

Topic Chart

Selecting Keywords

Selecting Keywords 

Think about any time recently where you have searched for information.  You may have been looking for something for school, or you may have been looking up something like movie times at the Lyric.  Where did you go for this information?  I'm betting you went to Google (hey, that's where I usually start when I have a question)!  Next, think about what you typed in as you searched for your information.  Perhaps it was something like "show times at the Lyric in Blacksburg, VA."  While typing in a whole sentence or statement like this works in Google, this strategy doesn't work as well in library databases.  

Library databases work best when you choose a few words that represent or describe the information that you're looking for.  That way, the databases can try to find articles that match up with the words that you've entered into the database.  

But, how do you know which words to choose, and how many you should use to search with?