The Mansfield Library provides a full suite of video tutorials to help you with topic selection, searching, citations, copyright and more.
The Department of Applied Arts and Sciences offers courses to fulfill an AA or AS degree, primarily in the fields of communication, mathematics, social science, science and writing.
Brainstorming keywords will help you refine your topic, find the most information about your topic and save you time by helping you search databases in a more efficient and systematic way.
(Why? Different authors will refer to the same concept in different ways. Having a comprehensive list of keywords to search will help you find more relevant information.)
1. Pick out the main ideas in your research question. For example, the main ideas in this research question are in bold: “How does legalization of marijuana affect mental health rates in the United States?”
2. Take each of your main ideas and brainstorm as many synonyms, related words, acronyms, initialisms and spelling variants as you can. For example, for "United States":
3. Do this for each of your main ideas. Searching all the variants you can come up with will give you a broader selection of relevant information. It might help to make a chart to keep track of the combinations you have tried.
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