LSU Libraries User Instruction
Searching Techniques and Strategies Tutorial

Generating Search Terms, Cont.

Now, open the thesaurus and look up your search terms. Find as many alternate words for your search terms as you can, and write them down. For instance, let's say our topic was "The Effects of Oil Spills on Wildlife." Our list might look like this:

Oil
Petroleum
spill
Pollution
Waste
Wildlife
Animals
Birds
Seals
Seagulls
Fauna

In this case, you might also list the names of specific oil spills, such as the Exxon Valdez or the Prince William Sound. The more terms you have to search with, the more information you'll be able to find. It also gives you a "spare tire": if one group of search terms doesn't seem to bring anything up, you can switch to another.


Back            Next



Comments | LSU Libraries | Louisiana State University | Library Instruction
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Tel (225) 578-5652 | Fax (225) 578-9432
Copyright © 1998-2014 LSU Libraries
URL: http://www.lib.lsu.edu/instruction/searching/searching07.html
Last Updated: 2008
LSU Logo