Start by looking for the main ideas or concepts in your assignment topic.
Let's look at this sample topic: Discuss the effectiveness of community led health services in Indigenous communities
In the topic above there are three main concepts:
When searching in the catalogue and databases, you can join these keywords using AND. This narrows your search, instructing the catalogue or database that you're only interested in items that contain both of your terms. For example, a search for community-led AND health services will only return records containing both the terms community-led and health services.
Finding alternative terms
Authors may use different keywords to describe the same concept so it is a good idea to identify alternative keywords (also known as synonyms or similar terms) to broaden your search.
For our sample topic some alternative terms for each main concept could be:
Combine these similar search terms with OR. This broadens your search, instructing the catalogue or database that you're interested in items that contain either of your terms. For example, a search for health services OR health care will locate all records containing either the terms health services or health care.
|Note that the terms "Indigenous Australians" and "Aboriginal Australians" are often used interchangeably in books and articles so including both in your search may increase relevant results.|
You can use these tips in the Library catalogue, databases and Google to enhance your search: