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COM 101: Composition & Research

For online COM 101 sections.

Lesson: Search Terms

In this lesson you will learn how to brainstorm a list of search terms based on your topic or clinical question.  You will:

  1. Watch the self guided "Develop a list of Key Terms" Prezi which will demonstrate how you can develop a list of search terms from your clinical question.
  2. Look at the chart in the "Developing Search Terms" box which shows a full example of that process.
  3. Complete the Search Term Brainstorming activity which allows you to practice these skills.

Why Search Terms?

So what's the big deal with search terms?  This may seem unnecessary in a world with Google but for scholarly, authoritative research you'll need to utilize library databases.  And with databases, you will need to use the appropriate search terms.

What will search terms do for you?

  • Make your research more effective & efficient.
  • Find the most useful sources faster & easily.
  • Save you time!
  • Get you better grades!

Developing Search Terms

After developing a topic for your research, you must identify the main concepts of your topic.  

The Prezi and chart below are examples of how to brainstorm search terms including synonyms, broader/narrower terms, related terms.


 

 

Topic:  How effective is pet therapy for elderly patients suffering from depression?

Major Concepts:  pet therapy, elderly patients, depression

 

CONCEPT 1

CONCEPT 2

CONCEPT 3

Major Concept

pet therapy

elderly patients

depression

Synonyms

animal therapy

animal assisted therapy

geriatric patients

melancholy

sadness

despair

Broader Terms

psychiatry

therapeutic

rehabilitation

psychotherapy

elderly

aged

older people

mental health

psychology

psychiatry

mental illness

Narrower Terms

animal assisted therapy

elderly women

elderly men

chronic depression

psychotic depression

Related Words

pets

attachment theory

attachment behavior

gerontology

mood

therapy

 

 

ACTIVITY: Search Term Brainstorming

Download and complete the following activity.  Instructions can be found within the document.