Once you have a topic, you need to list the key terms related to that topic.  It is not a good idea to just type in your whole topic sentence into Library Search or an article resource.  Instead, choose terms that you think are the most important ways to describe what you are interested in.  Remember to include any synonyms for those terms or alternative spellings.

If you are not getting enough results, then you may want to remove one of the terms and try again.  Or choose a synonym for one of the terms.

  • Topic: How nurses help patients from other cultures
  • Key terms: nursing, patients, cultures
  • Broader terms: hospitals, multicultural
  • Narrower terms: nurse training, patient care, transcultural

Look for topics and suggested new searches on the left side of your results list.  These can help you get a more focused search with better results.

Another quick way to find good keywords is to locate one good item and then see which subject terms were used to describe it.  Write those down and then try a new search using those terms.

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