after identifying your research topic, you need to translate it into a search strategy that the search engine will understand

the main elements of your search strategy are the keywords that describe the major concepts of your search topic

do not use stop words - stop words are words articles such as a, an and the; conjunctions and prepositions like and, or, but, in, of, for, on, into, from, than, at to; adjectives and adverbs - as, also, probably, however, very; and pronouns and verbs like - this, that, these, those, is, be, see and do

if you know very little about your topic, some initial research can help you identify useful keywords

synonyms are words that have similar meanings - web pages can be created using different words to describe the same topic

by expanding your list of keywords, you help ensure that your queries are broad enough to find web pages not included under the exact keywords in your initial list

the order in which your place your keywords is important - placing your most important keywords at the beginning of your search query causes a search engine to display documents featuring the more important keywords at the top of your search results


Barker, Donald I. and Carol D. Terry Internet research Boston, MA: Course Technology, 2009