Developing a Search Strategy for Your Topic
What is your assignment prompt? What questions do you need to answer about the topic? Brainstorm for keywords and key phrases that express the major concepts or issues involved, including synonyms and related terms.
Examples: Topic Prompt and Keywords
Topic/Prompt: To what extent, if any, is the fast food industry responsible for American obesity?
Keywords and key phrases: fast food, obesity, Americans.
Keywords and key phrases for related issues: obesity epidemic, diet, nutrition, children, adults, fast food marketing, advertising, schools, television, "junk food," diabetes, heart disease, exercise, lawsuits, McDonald's.
Use combinations of keywords that represent the key concepts you are interested in. Remember to join your key words and key phrases together with and. It is often necessary to do several different searches to gather articles relevant to your topic.
Examples of Keyword Searches: fast food and obesity; fast food and lawsuits; obesity and children; schools and fast food; fast food and advertising and television
Watch this video for more info on how to develop your search strategy:
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