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Keywords Are Key!
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When you search in academic databases including MCC Library OneSearch, keywords give you the best search results. Next time you search, instead of typing in a long phrase such as "all the research that shows evidence to prove there's no life on the moon," try keywords.
A better search about lunar life would use keywords and look like this:
"life on the moon" and research
Research 101: Searching Is Strategic (3:14)
A Step-by-step Sample Search
- Change your research question into keywords or search words, like this:
Question: Is there any connection between legal drinking age and crime rates?
- Choose a few important words as your initial search words: drinking age, crime
- To find many forms of a search word, for example to find crime or crimes or criminal, use an * after the beginning of the word (this is called truncation): crim* (will find crime, crimes, criminal but also Crimea, so think about the possibilities when you use truncation)
- Use " " to keep words together as a phrase: "drinking age"
- Link your terms with AND to find articles that mention all of your search words, Link them with OR to find any of a list of similar words, putting those words inside parentheses ( ):
"drinking age" and (crim* or violen* or felon* or misdemeanor*)
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