APA Style is a standardized writing format, established by the American Psychological Association, which you may need to follow when submitting projects or papers. If you have questions about APA formatting, look at our APA Style Guide.
The keywords you use can have a profound impact on your search results. Using the “right” words will speed up the research process, while the “wrong” words can bring to it to a halt.
Before you can begin searching for information, you need to identify keywords related to your topic. Key terminology can be easily be found by scanning:
Your research questions
Articles found from background research
Bibliographies found at the end of books and articles
If you are still struggling:
Use a thesaurus to identify synonyms
Brainstorm keywords with a librarian, your instructor, or a friend
Develop a Search Strategy
Want to be more strategic when searching for articles, books, etc.? Use our Search Strategy Worksheet to help you develop keywords, narrower and broader searches, and track your searches.
Search specific library databases. Not sure what databases to search? Look at Databases by Major for databases available in your subject-area. Check out the Search Shortcuts below to find tips on searching in Library databases.
Research guides (like this one!) are for programs, some courses, and topics. Guides provide subject and course-specific resources. Check out your subject guide for additional places to find information on your topic!