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Shapiro Library

HUM 100 - Perspectives in the Humanities

Research and information guide to support learning in this course.

Search Strategies


One of the most important concepts to learn when beginning your research, is how to search effectively. Library databases are not Google, where you can put in anything you want and get results. Databases rely on the combination of words or keywords that you use in order to understand what you are looking for. Brainstorming a few keywords that represent the ideas or concepts you are trying to find can help.

When doing a keyword search it's a good idea to try a number of different search terms and phrases. Don't be discouraged if your initial keyword search brings back too many, too few, or irrelevant results--you'll want to try multiple keywords, synonyms for your keywords, different combinations of keywords, etc. to bring back the best results. View the interactive lesson Search Strategies This link opens in a new window below to learn about keywords and constructing effective search strategies. 

Search strategies lesson start page