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How-to guides and videos on writing, research and citation
Figure out your Keywords: Your keywords are the main concepts or ideas of your paper. For example the keywords for a paper on "youth employment in Canada” would be:
Use related words and phrases (synonyms): There are multiple ways to express the same concept.
Employment can also be:
Youth can be:
Use "AND" and "OR" (in capitals) to pull you keywords and synonyms together (these are known as Boolean operators)! This way you can search for multiple concepts effectively.
AND = finds sources that contain all keywords
Youth AND Employment AND Canada
OR = finds sources that contain at least one of these keywords
Youth OR teenagers OR young people
NOT = eliminates or ignores a related term that you do not want in your search
Java NOT coffee (for when you want JAVA the computer language)
Employment NOT Farms (for when you want to exclude sources about employment on farms )
If one of your synonyms contains more than one word (e.g., First Nations) use quotation marks (" ") around the whole phrase to ensure the words are searched for together and not separately.
For Example: "First Nations" or “personal identity”
Shorten, or truncate, a keyword by using the symbol "*".
For example, canad* will retrieve results for the words Canada, Canadian, and Canadians. Truncating means you don't have to search for these words separately by typing each one individually.
Disabilit* = will find Disability, Disabilities
Wom*n = will find women and woman
colo*r = will find colour, color
politic* = politics, politically, political…
anorex* = anorexia, anorexic
Using parentheses ( ), called nesting, to group the related terms. Next, use OR between each related keywords
( Keywords 1 OR related term ) AND (Keyword 2 OR related term) AND (Keyword 3 OR related term)
(Teenagers OR adolescents) AND (beliefs OR attitudes) AND (alcohol NOT drug*).