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HS 390W: Current Health Issues for Betty Brown

Identifying the Main Concepts of Your Research Question

Before you start to search in any of the health resources, identify the main concepts of your research question.  These concepts will become the keywords that you will use to search in academic databases and government websites. 

Since different words are recognized within each resource, consider alternative keywords (synonyms and related words).


Main Concept Alternative Keywords
children child, "young adult", school-age
nutrition diet, eating habits, vitamins, nutritional deficiency
"academic achievement" school, grades, "academic performance"


Using quotes will force the database to search for two or more words as a single concept.  With the quotes, the database will search "academic achievement" and without the quotes the database will search academic AND achievement.  Without quotes around both words, the words may not appear together in the results. 

Background vs. Foreground Information

 Background vs. Foreground Information

Before searching for information about your research question (foreground information), have a good understanding of each of the concepts.  If you do not have adequate knowledge about your topic, peruse background information in order to fully understand the foreground information that you need for your assignments. 

Resources for background information

Do not use Wikipedia or simple Google search results as references for your research assignment.