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BUILD IT Express: Keywords and Searching

A short version of the BUILD IT tutorial, with just the essential information.

SETTING UP YOUR SEARCH

The boxes below will tell you the basics of identifying keywords, as well as techniques for combining them efficiently and effectively 
More information on all of these is found in the 
Module Two of the full BUILD IT Tutorial.

IDENTIFYING KEYWORDS

A keyword is any significant word or phrase that describes your topic.

Write a topic statement that sums up the subject and focus of your paper in a sentence or two. It may be a statement or question.

For each keyword, list synonyms and related words.

The next step is to combine these keywords into a search.

BOOLEAN CONNECTORS

Identifying keywords is only the first step to effective searching. The secret to finding information efficiently is in the way you combine keywords when searching. Most databases allow you to search using Boolean Logic. Boolean logic refers to the logical relationship between search terms, and uses these three operators, or connectors: 

These connectors link together two or more terms to either narrow or broaden your search.
The following Venn diagrams demonstrate how these connectors work to control your search.
Only the resuts represented by the darker purple will be retrieved.

Any number of terms can be connected using Boolean operators.  
Most database advanced search screen are already set up to connect search terms in this way.

ADVANCED SEARCH TECHNIQUES

These searches are a bit more complex but can save you time once you have mastered the technique.

NOW LET'S FIND SOME INFORMAITON

Now you are ready to get started finding your sources. Go on to MODULE THREE: LOCATING INFORMATION