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EPS 640 Biological Bases of Behavior

Study Like a Scholar, Scholar

Keyword Searching in Database

How to decide which keywords to use when searching the article databases-


Identify the key concepts about your topic:

  • Think of words to express your topic.
  • Consider alternative words.
  • Think about the words the author may use.

Example: I want to research whether advertising effects childrens food choices.

Keywords: food, advertising, children

  • Combine your concepts with AND to narrow your search.
  • Combine your concepts with OR to broaden your search.

venn-diagram for searching using AND and OR

food AND advertising AND children

This type of search returns fewer and more specific results


food OR advertising OR children

This type of search returns many results


If you have trouble finding articles, you can brainstorm alternate words for your concepts. Consider synonyms, alternative spellings, variant endings (e.g., health, healthy, healthier, etc.) and acronyms.

Food Advertising Children

Frozen Food    

Commercials Families
Beverages Computers in advertising Age groups
Convenience foods Cartoons Gender