Answered By: Jennifer Harris
Last Updated: Jul 05, 2017     Views: 1359

Use a keyword search to search all parts of a source for the words you enter in the search box. This type of searching uses "natural language" and is one you're probably already familiar with--you simply enter words or phrases into a search box that you think are relevant to your topic.

When doing a keyword search it's a good idea to try a number of different search terms and phrases. Don't be discouraged if your initial keyword search brings back too many, too few, or irrelevant results--you'll want to try multiple keywords, synonyms for your keywords, different combinations of keywords, etc. to bring back the best results.

For example, if you are looking for information about the dangers of texting and driving, you may start out with keywords like:

texting, driving, distracted driving, danger, cellphones, etc.

But you'll also want to try using synonyms for keywords:

cell phones = mobile phones, smartphones, iphone, etc.

You'll also want to try combining keywords to get better, more thorough results:

texting and driving, distracted driving and danger, etc.

Most Useful For

  • Finding resources using "natural language" that describes your topic
  • Very flexible--can easily be combined with other searching techniques

Cautions

  • May bring back too many, too few, or irrelevant results if keywords are not carefully selected
  • Users should try multiple keywords, combinations of keywords, etc. to bring back the best results

You may also want to consider:

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