Create a search strategy

  1. Start by writing a statement (one or two sentences) of your main idea, question, or topic.
  2. Next, pick out the key concepts from your statement, you will want to focus on the nouns in your sentence(s). 
  3. When you have your key concepts selected, arrange them in columns and under each one write down other terms or phrases that could also be used to represent that concept. 
  4. Now you are ready to write out some search phrases with Boolean operators.  Use "AND" to combine words that represent different concepts and use "OR" to combine the terms of similar concepts.  If you want to exclude a term you can use the "NOT" operator.
A printable search strategy worksheet is available for your convenience.