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Break Down Your Topic / Question
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 may be pejorative today.
Stick to using 2-4 nouns when searching.
How to Choose Keywords
McMaster Libraries (2:42)
"How do sleep habits affect the academic success of college students ?"
My keywords are:
Here are some possible alternatives for each of these keywords:
sleep, sleep disorders
success, academic achievement, GPA, retention, graduation
university students, undergraduates