Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Research 101

Keyword 1-2-3

Before searching, it helps to reflect on your topic: this super short video will guide you through brainstorming keywords to search.

Directed by Karly Stark, written by Zhané Garlington (Undergraduate Library Fellow, 2020-21), with contributions from Nicole E. Brown, Kristina Bush & Gisèle Tanasse.

Quick Summary

  • Keywords are what you type into the search bar (0:10)
  • Good keywords can help you find resources for your project (1:00)
  • Generate keywords by identifying core concepts from your research question (i.e. time, place, event, media, people) (0:33)

Search Tips

UC Library Search search box containing "global warming"Use quotation marks to search for a phrase. 


Search for "transgender AND athlete"Use AND to search for items with all search words in any order.


UC Library Search search box containing "Irish OR Celtic"Use OR to search for items with at least one search word. 


UC Library Search search box containing "wom?n"Use a question mark to search for variations of a single character.

(ex: search for "woman", "women", and "womyn".)

UC Library Search search box containing "cultur*"Use a wildcard/asterisk to search for variations of multiple characters.

(ex: search for "culture", "cultural", "culturally", etc.)

UC Library Search search box containing "voodoo NOT economics"Use NOT to exclude words or phrases. (ex: search for voodoo but NOT voodoo economics.)