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Information Skills

Videos and online tutorials to support and develop information skills.

Finding Keywords

Before you can begin using MultiSearch or the Library’s databases, you need to know exactly what it is you are searching for. This process includes:

  • Identifying the topic words from your assessment tasks
  • Making a list of synonyms or related concepts for each topic in your assessment tasks
  • Using your readings, articles you’ve already found, subject words from journal databases, and other tools such as thesauri to expand these lists. 

In this tutorial, you’ll take a look at an assessment question and discover strategies with which to create lists of synonyms for each of the topics or key concepts it is asking you to write about.


Identify Key Concepts

Identifying the main topic words or key concepts from your assessment task is an essential first step in beginning the research process. Searching with these words and phrases will direct you towards the most relevant sources of information. 

Once you have identified key concepts and topic words, make a list of synonyms or related concepts for each of them. In doing so, you are trying to list all the ways authors might write about that concept.

Find Synonyms

Use your readings, articles you’ve already found, subject words from journal databases, and other tools such as thesauri to find synonyms and alternative phrases.

 

There are a few ways of collecting synonyms for the key themes in your assessment questions:

  • Look at online thesauri such as the Oxford English Thesaurus
  • Identify synonyms or related terms while you are reading. It is a good idea to jot down these terms as you read so that you can refine your search at a later time
  • Finally, take a look at the subject tags associated with resources you find. In MultiSearch, these are located in the details tab. Other sources, such as journal databases, will display subject terms in the detailed record of each article.

 

Quiz