Unlike searching the internet with Google, you must use keywords instead of sentences to search the library databases.
WATCH: Two-minute video from Augustana Library on Key Concepts and Keywords.
EXAMPLE: See the example below on how to identify the key concepts of a research topic and/or question. The key concepts are the first search terms. From these terms, brainstorm additional related terms to make it easier to find relevant sources.
Click the Next button to continue the tutorial
The database search engines are designed to search for the information you want based on the keywords you enter. If you enter only the keywords that best describe the topic or question you are researching, you are much more likely to get the information that is about your research topic or question
So, ask yourself; what are the main ideas/concepts of my search topic and/or question? What search terms do I think will get me the most relevant results?
Brainstorming the best keywords and synonyms that will describe your topic will get you the best results.