"Choosing search keywords" was created by McMaster University Libraries using a CC-BY license. Click to enlarge the infographic.
Remember these tips for choosing search keywords:
Try writing out your research topic as a sentence. Underline the most important nouns. These are your search terms.
For example, if you were researching the impact of restorative justice on K-12 students of color, you might write it as:
How are California high schools using restorative justice to address inequalities and help students of color to be successful in school?
You can start making a list of search terms, starting with the words you have underlined:
Look for these details in library search results to tell whether it is a scholarly source, and whether it is relevant to your topic.
(This example is a book found in the library catalog. Click on it to enlarge the image)
Now that we've looked at this example, try searching the resources on the Find Information page for sources on your topic. What can you learn about these sources just by looking at the search results?