Create a list of potential search terms using words from your assignment or chosen topic.
What are search terms?
Make a list of basic search terms related to your topic. Search terms can be:
Make a list of alternate terms
This video below introduces basic and advanced search, strategies for developing a search, and some general research tips.
At different stages in your search for information you will use different search strategies. When you're brainstorming to see what is out there, do a basic search. Enter a single word or a short phrase about your topic into the database's search box. Keep it simple: "pandemic," "college education."
Skim the list of articles that appear. Are there a lot of articles on your topic idea or just a few? How hard will it be to thoroughly research and write about this topic? If there are just a few you may want to choose different search terms. Look at your notes from the encyclopedia databases for ideas. If you still get too few results, you might want to change your topic. You're only at Step 2 in the research process so there's still time.
If you are looking for more detailed information about your topic, try one of these advanced search strategies.