Brainstorming will help you come up with a research topic and keywords for you topic question. Use your textbook, social media, etc., to find something of interest to you that you want to learn more about; this will make the research process more enjoyable. When brainstorming, always start broad, and then narrow your topic. If you start with a topic that is too narrow, it can initially be difficult to find material. There are no wrong answers in brainstorming; if you find that some of your keywords aren't generating results, go back to your list and try again.
Tips for Choosing Keywords
Example: What effect does attending a women's college have on a student's confidence?
|Keyword||Broader Terms||Related Terms||Narrower Terms|
|women's college||College, university, higher education||Single sex education, female education, female college, single sex college||Wesleyan College, Wellesley College, Smith College, Vassar College
|confidence||Attitude, perception||Self-esteem, self-evaluation||Overconfidence, self-confidence|
Boolean Search Operators are the basics of all library searching. When used along with your keywords, they can broaden or narrow your search results. The table below outlines what each operator does. The purple in the diagrams below show which keywords will be found in your search results.