Skip to Main Content

Brainstorming search terms : How do I decide what words to type in the search box?

how to improve your literature search by brainstorming search words

How do I decide what to type in the search box?

The words you type into the search box affect your search results. Not all authors use the same language to describe similar topics, so you will need to try a variety of searches.

  • Create a list of possible words that could appear in a book or article related to your topic of interest.
  • Come up with synonyms or related terms for those.
  • If you're researching a topic from an historical point of view, it may also be helpful to come up with historical terms that might not be commonly used today.
  • Stick to using 2-4 nouns when searching.