What are keywords? Keywords are the most important words in a research statement or question. They are the words that create significance or meaning.
Why use keywords? Keywords are important in research because they are highly useful to facilitate an online search for information. They open the doors to vast amounts of information. Keywords may also be referred to as “search terms.”
Look at the assignment questions to identify relevant information for queries:
And identify relevant information for refining results:
Courts/Legislative bodies involved
State or Country
Once you have identified the search terms you think are relevant, combine them into an improved query through the use of "AND" "OR" "NOT" Boolean Operators. the computer recognized these capitalized terms as an instruction to search it's documents differently.
"AND" operator results in sources that include both terms. For example, while the query: Diet Coke health might return information on diet and heath (ignoring the term Coke), or Coke and health (the incorrect soda); a search: "Diet Coke" AND health would ensure the sources find not only articles on Diet Coke, but that they will include its health considerations.
The goal of your search is to find specific, relevant results. Pay attention to the number of results your search returns.
Consider these questions:
In legal research, your often look for very specific issues. Consider the difference between terms like "guns" and "Second Amendment"
NOTE: If using Hein (and many other databases) make sure to put search terms in quotes!