Keywords are the main idea of your topic or sentence. Here are a few examples to help you pinpoint your own keywords:
Research question: How does immigration affect the economy of the United States? Keywords: immigration AND economy AND United States Research question: What effect does poverty have on mental health? Keywords: poverty AND mental health
This list is only a starting point--as a member of the Saint Paul College Community, you have access to over 100 databases through the library. You can see them all, and search by subject, here.
Searching in databases can return hundreds or even thousands of results, but there are simple ways to refine your search in order to find exactly what you're looking for. Using the following terms can help you be more specific.
|AND||Use AND to narrow your search. For example, searching eviction AND minnesota will find resources with both terms, helpfing you to find more specific results. You can keep adding terms with AND: eviction AND minnesota AND pandemic AND landlord|
|OR||Use OR to broaden your search. OR is particularly helpful if your term has a frequently used synonym. For example, you can search landlord OR property manager to find articles that contain either term.|
|NOT||Use NOT to exclude a word or phrase from your search. For example, using eviction NOT COVID will bring back results for eviction but will exclude COVID-related articles.|
|*||Truncation allows you to search alternative word endings. For example, evict* will search evict, evicted, and eviction all at the same time.|
|?||A wildcard replaces one character in a word. Wom?n will search women and woman.|
|#||# can accommodate spellings where a character may or may not be present. For example, colo#r will search color and colour.|