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CPHL 302 Ethics & Health Care

Searching with Keywords

Keywords & Synonyms

1. Keywords are the most important words in your topic

  • Is the petroleum industry contributing to climate change in Canada?

= Petroleum industry 

= Climate change 

= Canada


2. Also think of other words or phrases related to your topic (Synonyms).

  • Climate change = global warming

  • Petroleum = oil

*A concept map can help you come up with related terms to your topic


3. Search again and again using different keywords! 


4. Use the limiters available like “Peer Reviewed” or “Date Range”


Keyword Search Example: 

example of keyword search Climate Change "Oil Production" Canada



Keyword Searching From Seneca Libraries (Open Captions)



Advanced Search Techniques


Two word term or phrase searching "..."

When you have a two word keyword (like First Nations or Social Media) use quotation marks around the two words - "Social Media". This keeps the two words together in your search results. Otherwise you might get results that look for the two words separately and not sequentially. 


Limiters are your friend! 

Search Engines like the Library's Search Everything and our various subject databases have limiters on the search page and the results page. Limiters will allow you to limit your results to the type of resources (books, peer reviewed, newspapers etc), the publication date range, the subject area and the language of the resource, just to name a few. Always check out the limiters when searching. 

Example of Limiters in Search Everything

example of Limiters on left side of search results - example full text or date range