If you've got your topic, you'll need keywords to search in the library's resources. Unlike google, these databases, as they're called, prefer simple terms, not the whole question typed out. So from our previous page on Brainstorming we had super general topics like:
Through the mind mapping exercise, we can get a narrower topic from each of these. For instance:
What you'll inevitably do with those terms is use them in a database or google. You search for quarantine, community: you're actually telling the website to give you quarantine AND community: every result will have both words in it. That is using the word AND.
With the examples above, we will probably get some results. But I want you to get all the possible results. As an example, we have the keyword "mental health". A sociologist might use that term, but a social worker may not. The social worker may use "well being". Both of these researchers are talking about the exact same thing, but if you only used "mental health" you're going to be missing out on some great sources. What is needed is a broader search. We can do that by using both words, but not caring if one or the other comes up: as long as one does. The terminology is called Boolean Logic, using AND, OR, NOT.
As long as my results contain one of the "OR"s, I'm happy. Combining AND's and OR's you can build super great searches that will get you all the possible results! Then you can choose to use or not use them when the time comes. The image below shows them in action:
Image from Albion College library.