Choose a Topic
Choose and Develop a Topic
- Think about your topic in terms of a question.
- Pick out the important terms or keywords from it.
- Come up with other related terms or synonyms
- How does binge drinking effect college students?
- What effect does violence in the media have on children?
- How do state laws differ on the death penalty?
- binge drinking, college students
- violence, media, children
- state laws, death penalty
Synonyms / Related Terms
- alcohol, young adults
- TV, movies, youth
- execution, capital punishment
Use your keywords and related terms to develop your search for sources on your topic.
Using Boolean logic to refine a search in online databases:
- alcohol and college (tells the computer to search for sources which contain the words 'alcohol' and 'college')
Using truncation to find all forms of a word
- violen? and school? (tells the computer to search for the words 'violence' and 'violent' and 'school' and 'schools')
- Be sure to check the HELP in the database you are searching to be sure that truncation is allowed and what the symbol for it is. (Some databases use an * rather than the ?)