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PSCI 210 - Introduction to American Government

Generating Search Terms

When conducting research, it is very important to make a list of search terms for your topic(s).  There may be times when the term that you are using is not the term that is indexed in a database.  Create a list and search all of the terms.  If you need help coming up with search terms, consult a thesaurus.

Examples: ex-offenders

Other possible search terms: convicts, ex-convicts, felons, lawbreaker, offender

Online Thesauri:

Idea Map

An idea map is a graphical way to brainstorm ideas by building a diagram to represent ideas and words around a central topic.  When beginning research it can be helpful to create an idea map to help structure how you may want to begin your research process.  An idea map is dynamic and evolving - don't hesitate to add or take away from it.   Below is an example of one.


Smart Searching

Below are a few search tips to help you execute a search in Business Source Premier.

asterisk (*) - The asterisk acts as a truncator so it brings back all variation of a word.  (ex.  Politic*  will bring back results with terms such as Politicial, Politics, Politicize, Politically etc.).  It is a way to expand your search.

Use quotation marks ("  ") if you have two or more words that you want to search as a phrase.  "international relations" will yield only those results in which international relations is used as a phrase.  International relations will yield results where the word international and the word relations appear in the record but not necessarily beside each other.  This is a way to narrow your search. 

Field Searching - Your search terms can be restricted to only appear in a certain field.  Using the drop down box in Business Source Premier, you can restrict by subject, company name, ticker symbol, geographic terms and more.  If looking for articles about a specific country, enter the country name in the search box and then select geographic terms  from the drop down box.