Developing a Search in USM Library Databases
The following section will take you through the process of finding keywords, and creating a search strategy
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Write down your topic in the form of a question. For example: "How is mythology used in Shakespeare's literature?" *
Identify the main keywords to use in your search. For example: MYTHOLOGY, SHAKESPEARE, LITERATURE *
Using AND, OR Searching
Connecting keywords with the words AND or an OR will define how the keywords work together.

If you connect keywords with an AND you are telling the database: "the following keywords must be in every article in my results!" For example, Literature AND Criticism. Every article or book in your search must have the keyword Literature and the keyword Criticism. If it does not have both keywords, it will not be included in the results. You can search more than two keywords at a time, for example Literature AND Criticism AND Shakespeare. Now all three keywords MUST be in every article or book.
Use your time now to write down THREE possible searches for your topic using keywords and the operator AND. (Hint: What keywords could you use besides the ones you are already have, and still search the same topic?) Be prepared to share your answers. For example: Literature AND Criticism, Literature AND Analysis, Writing AND Criticism *
Go to the database Academic Search Complete or another suggested by the librarian. Try the three searches you created. Were you happy with the results? Why or why not? Be prepared to share your answers. *
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