Select Your Research TopicDictionariesEncyclopediasThesauri (Thesauruses)
Encore Description & Step-By-StepFind & Use eBooksKeywordsFind Books on the Shelves
Important Definitions & LocationsPeriodical CitationsBasic Steps to Search an Online DatabaseEBSCO DatabaseProQuest DatabaseNewspapers
Full-Text Periodicals E & PrintInterlibrary LoanStudents at Carbon, Donley, & Morgan CentersLocal LibrariesSummary
Additional ResourcesExamples of Almanacs & Statistical ResourcesStatistical Abstract of the United StatesExamples of Government SourcesExamples of Professional OrganizationsFind Audiovisual ResourcesConsult with a Librarian
Important TermsThe Internet: DefinitionFacts & AdviceAccess a Web SiteSearch EnginesThe "Invisible Web"Using Wikipedia
Evaluating a Web SiteVERY IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONSDomain NamesWhat Is Its Purpose?Personal Web PagesWho Is Its Author/Producer/Sponsor?Where Did This Web Site Originate?Helpful Web Site
This is the "Effective keywords" page of the "ENG 105 Information Research Skills" guide.
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ENG 105 Information Research Skills  

The College English I Workbook is an ENG 105 assignment worth 15% of your grade. This guide contains information from the workbook's eight chapters, minus the self-check questions.
Last Updated: Apr 30, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Effective keywords Print Page

Search Terms



To find good results in a database, it is extremely important to select good search terms (keywords).

Remember that to determine your search terms:

  • Select significant words that are likely to appear in your document
  • Avoid unnecessary words
  • Consider including relevant synonyms or related words in your search

Connectors for Search Terms

Determine your connectors (a.k.a. logical operators, search operators, boolean terms), if necessary:    

  • treatment and  children   [results will contain: all documents containing the words treatment and children]
  • treatment or children [results will contain: all documents containing treatment or children or both terms]
  • treatment and children and (asthma or bronchitis) [results will contain:  treatment and children and either asthma or bronchitis]

Truncation for Search Terms

Include special characters (a.k.a. truncation, wild cards), if appropriate:


                                results will contain: child, child's, children, children's


                                results will contain: disease, diseased, diseases

            Some databases use a + or ! instead of a *. Consult their help screens. 




Search Terms


Review from the previous chapter:

Unsuccessful or Inadequate Keyword Searches

Successful Keyword Searches

biography of a musician

biography and musician

books about computers


sports in high schools

sports and high schools

sports in high schools

 high schools and (sports or athletes)

discrimination in the military

discrimination and military

facts about brazil


respitory disease

respiratory disease

tie chi

tai chi

teenagers who drive

(teenagers or adolescents) and driving


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