Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

BSC 1010C (Rodriguez, A.): All About Keywords

Boolean Operators

Maximize the Keyword search in the Database

  • Use AND to combine keywords and phrases when searching the library databases for journal articles.
    • China AND Film AND History
    • Veterans AND Pensions AND Legislation
  • Use truncation (an asterisk) and wildcards (usually a question mark or exclamation point).
    • Child* and Education
      • Child* brings up child, children, childhood, and any other word that starts with the root "child." This will work in most of the databases.

 

Keyword Worksheet

Use this worksheet to create keywords that can be used in your database search

How to Choose Your Keywords

Choosing Your Keywords

An effective database search depends on a good choice of keywords (you cannot type a question into the database). How do you pull out keywords from your research question or statement to use in your database search?

  1. Think about your topic. Write it down in the form of a research question or statement.
  2. Circle the most important ideas or concepts in your question or statement. These become your keywords.
  3. Think of some synonyms or related terms that you can use for your keywords. These new keywords will come in handy when you are searching.
  4. Connect your keywords together using the word AND. By adding the word AND, you are telling the database that you want all of these keywords to show up in your search results.
  5. Try changing your search by substituting some of your related terms or synonyms with other keywords in your search.
The Valencia College libraries do not welcome solicitation of resources to be added to our LibGuides. This includes but is not limited to vendors, search engine optimizers, placement of ads, products, or any other requests. Our LibGuides are carefully curated resources developed in partnership with faculty, staff, and students to support specific assignments, courses, events, and other related purposes at Valencia College. The Valencia libraries reserve the right to ignore LibGuide resource solicitations, and/or block persistent requests from groups or individuals to add or promote links in our LibGuides.