The search terms or keywords you use to search are what determine the results you get. Here's a good exercise to help you generate keywords:
1. Express your topic in a topic sentence: “What is the effect of television violence on children?”
2. Generate keyword search terms by identifying the main ideas or concepts within that topic sentence: “What is the effect of television violence on children?” = Effect, Television, Violence, or Television violence and Children
3. Expand your search terms by brainstorming related terms or synonyms that describe your main ideas:
Article databases, online library catalogs, and many popular search engines share several general searching techniques. Once you master these common searching techniques, you will save yourself time and find more relevant results.
You can create complex search strategies by combining keywords using the linking words AND, OR and NOT. For example, if your search terms are mathematics and curriculum:
Google Scholar provides a general search of scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources. If you use Google Scholar within the Oakland campus computing network, many Scholar results link into ULS full –text access.