Name: _ Teacher’s Name:

The Key to Keyword Searching


Good keyword searching makes a crucial difference in getting good online search results.

**Where do you do keyword searches?**
  • An online library catalogue
  • Electronic databases
  • Web sites

· When you search by keyword, you try to enter words that are not so broad that you get thousands of hits, but not so narrow that you get only one or two.
· If you get hundreds or thousands of results, think of a narrower term. If you are getting only a few results, think of a broader term. If you are having difficulty thinking of broader or narrower terms, ask your teacher or teacher librarian.
Let get some practice improving our skill making keywords broader or narrower.
Think of broader and narrower terms for each of the following:
• Rock music
Broader:
Narrower:
• Cars
Broader:
Narrower:
• Pets
Broader:
Narrower:
• Sport
Broader:
Narrower:

If you don’t know how to find other keywords for your search, try the following:
a. Ask your teacher or teacher librarian. We have a book in the library called Successful Keyword Searching, which lists suggestions for keywords by category.
b. Look up your word in a thesaurus (book of synonyms) either online (http://thesaurus.reference.com/ or in book form – this is fast and easy.
c. Look up your word in a general encyclopedia (e.g. Grolier) and see what other articles come up and/ or choose an article and skim for other recurring words in the text.
d. Look up your word in a database, like Ebsco. Ebsco lists alternate search terms in the margin, and may suggest a more narrow focus.
e. Use the Library of Congress authorities website for alternate subject headings.
f. Use the school catalogue or a Public Library catalogue to find alternate subject headings.
g. Use google adwords website.
Let’s practice all these methods:
Using a thesaurus, find synonyms or alternate keywords for the following words: (If the term is relatively new, you won’t find it in an older thesaurus).
  • Discrimination
  • Career
  • Cloning

Using Grolier Encyclopedia, find alternate keywords for the following words:
  • Discrimination
  • Career
  • Cloning

Using Ebsco databases, find alternate keywords for the following words. (Go to Ebsco on the Library web page. Click on Student Research Centre. Type in your search term. Suggestions for other subject keywords should come up on the left hand side of the page):
  • Discrimination
  • Career
  • Cloning

Using the Library of Congress authorities web page, find alternate keywords for the following words. (Go to http://authorities.loc.gov ). Click on “Search Authorities”. Type in your keyword. Click on Authorized Refs and Notes next to the word).
  • Discrimination
  • Career
  • Cloning

Using the school library catalogue on the library web page (upper left hand corner), find alternate keywords for the following words. (Type in your keyword. Scan the titles that come up for other possible keywords. It is also possible to use any Public Library catalogue for this)
  • Discrimination
  • Career
  • Cloning
Using google adwords, find alternate keywords for the following words. (Go to https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal - notice that keywords are so important that businesses pay to find out which ones are most used. Go to enter one keyword or phrase per line on this web page and enter your keyword. This will generate a list of keywords most used on web sites related to your keyword).
  • Discrimination
  • Career
  • Cloning


Which method did you find most useful?



Can you suggest other helpful ways to generate keywords?
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Created by Frances Handlarski – ACL A.Y.Jackson S.S.