Use synonyms and related concepts:
Think of other words that mean the same or similar things as the words in your question. It can help to brainstorm before you begin your search.
Global warming OR climate change OR greenhouse gas
Teens OR teenagers OR adolescents OR high school students
College OR university
Marijuana OR cannabis
Vaping OR e-cigarettes OR electronic cigarettes
Look at the subject terms in your search results and see if you can use any of those.
You can broaden your search results by typing an asterisk symbol * at end of the root of a word. When you do this, the computer will search for alternative endings for the word you have typed.
For example, typing crim* will yield results for:
Crime, crimes, criminal, criminals, criminology, criminality
Play* will yield results for plays, played, player(s), playing, playful, playfully, playground
Permi* will yield results for permit, permits, permitted, permission, permissive, permissiveness, permittivity
Refine your topic
Start with a broad topic and narrow it down by thinking of some of the issues associated with it.
Ex. Broad topic: Mental illness
Narrowed topics: personality disorders, exercise addiction, depression, bipolar disorder
Research question: Is borderline personality disorder more prevalent in women than in men?
Keywords are also considered search terms -- words that you enter into the database search engine. They are the key concepts of your research topic and/or research question.
Selecting keywords is a multi-step process that involves:
Tips for using keywords effectively
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