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PPE 4884 - Hersch: General Searching

Searching with Keywords


Three steps to keyword searching success:

1. Pull out the most important words in your topic or research question and use them to search. Hint: look for the nouns. Example:

  • Research Question: Does listening to classical music improve intelligence?
  • Keywords: classical music, intelligence

2. Then, think about synonyms or related terms for your keywords. Example:

  • classical music: Mozart, Bach, chamber music, opera, symphony 
  • intelligence: smart, brain, intellect 

3. Try searching with a few of your keywords at a time. Not liking your results? Try a different combination or think more carefully about the kind of information you're looking for. Who would be writing about this topic? What kind of language would they use?

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