Choosing Your Keywords
An effective database search depends on a good choice of keywords (you cannot type a question or phrase into the database). How do you pull out keywords from your research question or statement to use in your database search?
Here's an example:
What is the American foreign policy in a post 9/11 world?
American foreign policy
9/11 (you will also want to search September 11 as an alternate term in case an author does not use 9/11 in their article)
Possible Search strategies:
American foreign policy AND 9/11
American foreign policy AND September 11
When searching a database, you will use the keywords you created to search for journal articles. In the Advanced Search of most databases, there will be several search boxes separated by an AND. Use one keyword per box. Here's an example from Academic Search Complete.