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POLI 475: Introduction to Globalization: Home

Search Strategies

  • Identify the information you need, and what kind of source will have that information
  • Come up with keywords
  • Come up with synonyms or related phrases for your keywords
  • Search, edit, search, edit, search again

Searching is an iterative process. You cannot construct a single search to find everything you need. It's a process of trial and error. Perform a search, see what you found that fits your need, see what you found that is way off, and adjust and perform your next search accordingly.

Keyword Searching

Keyword Searching

Keyword searching is a fundamental research skill and is used in all types of databases, from the library catalog to Google. Keyword searches are important because they allow you to find materials without knowing the title or author of a work. Basically, keyword searches use words that describe the integral concept of your subject - multiple terms can be combined in one search, allowing you to find very specific materials, or very general ones, depending on your needs.

If there are multiple ways to refer to an idea or a topic, sometimes we have to try these different words as keywords as well.

Keyword Searching Worksheet

This worksheet can be used to help you brainstorm keywords, as well as synonyms and related terms to help you search the databases.

Recommended Databases


Faith Rusk's picture
Faith Rusk
Building 39, Room B020
Van Ness Campus

Where to find different sources of information

The typed version of our in class activity can be found here:

If you use another type of source that you found was useful, let me know and I can add it to the list.

Library Instruction Feedback Form

Please fill out this short Library Instruction Feedback Form. This quick form helps me improve my teaching.


Zotero is a free standalone program that works with the Chrome, Firefox, or Safari browsers to provide a simple way to save the information for citations, organize that information, and format the information based on a particular citation style.

For more information, consult our guide to Zotero and visit the Zotero website.