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Search Strategies

A successful search often begins with effective search terms. Where do you find terms?

Wikipedia is a great resource to start your list of keywords. Often in the first sentence of an entry, you will find synonyms; keep track of these terms as different keywords will work better within different resources. In addition, you can find related terms and key figures.


You can also find search terms in your anthology textbooks, background sources, or reference sourcesAs you do your research, keep a running list of search terms as different databases may prefer different keywords. 

Google and Google Scholar

Google can be useful in researching contemporary authors about whom there may not be a lot of scholarly activity. Search university and college websites for interviews or newspapers for critical reviews. Using advanced search strategies can help you find the information that you need by filtering your results. Use the Google tip sheet below to learn how to use Google better to find what you need. 

Google Scholar is a great way to find scholarly articles or book citations.  After searching, look for features in your results that can help you find related articles:

  • The Cited By feature will show you who cited an article so you can follow the citation trail. 
  • Click Related Articles to find other articles on topic.