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SOCI341 - Welfare and Society

Search Strategies

Spending some time planning out your search can help yield more relevant results on your topic. 

First, identify the main concepts of your topic. 

What access to affordable housing do senior citizens have? 

Next, brainstorm synonyms and related terms for your main concepts. 

Do some initial searches online, in reference databases like Credo Reference, or try an initial search in a database and explore subject terms that are used in relevant articles. Still not sure what keywords to use? Ask a peer, your professor, or a librarian

Affordable housing or subsidized housing or housing or housing policy or public housing

Senior citizens or elderly or older people or seniors 

Research Tips

How to Narrow Your Search

  • Combine concepts with AND to find more relevant sources
    • picasso AND Africa
    • internet AND privacy
    • bedrock AND Massachusetts AND hydrology
  • Use “quotation marks” to find exact phrases
    • "rock art"
    • “African diaspora”
    • “invertible matrix”

How to Broaden Your Search

  • Use ORs and parentheses to combine synonyms or related terms
    • (oil OR petroleum OR crude)
    • (antibiotic OR antiviral)
    • (woman OR girl OR female)

Putting it together in a database 

Screenshot of a database search using two concepts and synonyms and related terms for both concepts

Explore the More Info Page of relevant articles

Scan the abstract to assess relevancy and check for additional subject terms and related articles. Don't forget to save the citation and download the full text of the article while you're there. 

Screenshot of a more information page for a scholarly article showcasing the abstract, subject terms, full text options, citation button, and related sources.