Once you have identified a topic, select the terms and phrases that are essential to understanding the topic.
When researching, we are like detectives trying to combine the right terms in the right place to find the information we need. The Gathering Information page will help you to decide where to search, but how should you combine search terms to find what you are looking for?
Search for information using the single most important term related to your topic. Use this type of search when looking for basic background information.
Search for information by combining key concepts using the words you have brainstormed. Each concept/word should be separated by the word "AND". Use this kind of search when looking for specific evidence related to your claim/thesis.
Getting Too Many Irrelevant Results?
Add more search terms.
Getting Too Few Relevant Results?
Change or remove some search terms.
Created by Katherine Miller and Tom Childs for Douglas College Library. Creative Commons license Share Alike.
Created by Douglas College Library staff. Creative Commons license Share Alike.