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ENG 101 - Informative Career Research (Buzzard)

3. Search Tips: Keywords

As you start to narrow this down into a topic/thesis, you'll want to continue to look for more sources. As you research, you might tweak or adjust your topic/thesis.  In order to help you find more related sources about your topic, you'll want to identify keywords to help you search.

As you think about what information you should include in your paper, think about what particular words might be found in a good article about that topic.  For example, let's say you are researching the issue of nurse burnout. Think of related keywords:

  • nurse burnout
  • nursing stress
  • Nursing fatigue
  • Healthcare exhaustion
  • Nurse turnover

Try pairing these keywords to find specific information - use the name of your career, along with the information you're trying to locate:

Search: Nurses and burnout

Search: Healthcare and turnover

You can also pair terms together using quotation marks for more specific search results.

Search: "Mental health" and nurses and burnout

Keywords work best by trial-and-error. Never do only one search. Some keywords will work better than others, and some keywords may lead you to different articles than you found in your first search.  Search the databases with the keywords you selected to find relevant articles. And remember to ask a librarian if you need assistance coming up with keywords or looking for sources.