Making a list of keywords and phrases related to your topic will speed up the process of searching for resources. Explore the activities on this page to create a lists of keywords and discover how to use keywords to search.
Keywords are usually the main nouns or verbs related to a topic. You can find keywords in your thesis statement and in a dictionary, thesaurus, Website, library database, library catalog, newspaper, or magazine.
Example Topic: secondhand smoke
Example Thesis Statement: Secondhand smoke is dangerous for your health.
Keywords: secondhand smoke, dangers, health
Remember to add your thesis statement and keywords to your Project Plan Worksheet.
Once you have a list of keywords related to your topic, you can use them to do combination searches in any database. Keyword searching is a cycle, which means that if you do not get the results you want at first, you may need to try a different combination of keywords.
boys AND girls--only where circles overlap
boys OR girls--all of both circles
boys NOT girls--only the purple part of the circle