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CDFR 428: Family Dynamics

Dan Puhlman

Finding Keywords

An example research question is listed below, underline the words that you think would be main topics of this sentence.

“How does the media affect society’s view of cultural norms?”

The main topics will become your Keywords in the step below:




Cultural Norm

Synonym 1:



Expected Behavior

Synonym 2:




Do this same process for your research topic:

1) Identify the main concepts and underline them

2) List 1-2 synonyms that you brainstorm yourself or find in a thesarus



A search statement is made up of 2 things:

KEYWORDS - The words you have identified as main concepts for your research topic, and synonyms for those main concepts.

COMBINING WORDS - Also called Boolean Operators, these are words recognized by the computer that replace our natural language.  They are the words AND, OR, and NOT

Video created by the John M. Pfau library, CSUCB