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Search Strategies: Home


Identify keywords

Once you've chosen a topic, your next step is to identify keywords.  The keywords in the topic below are in bold.

How has the fair trade movement affected the coffee industry?

Once you've identified the keywords, you need to think of narrower and broader terms.

Fair Trade Coffee Industry
managed prices Coffee Bean Business
trade caffeine commerce
java corporation

Create Search Strings

Your next step is to create different search strategies. You can link terms together with the word, AND, examples are below.

Fair Trade AND coffee AND Industry

Trade AND coffee beans AND commerce

Managed Prices AND java AND business


You can also use OR in your search string.  In this case, OR works best when used with parentheses.


(Fair Trade OR Managed Prices) AND Coffee AND (Industry OR Business)

Trade Trade AND (Coffee OR Java) AND Corporation

Choosing a resource

The next step is figuring out what type of information you need (Background? Statistics? Case Studies?) and what format, (Books? Articles? Websites?).

Books are good for comprehensive, established topics. For example, an overview of the coffee industry or fair trade movement. KentLINK and OhioLINK catalogs are linked below.

  • KentLINK
    Search and request materials from any KSU library.
  • OhioLINK
    Search and request materials from institutions of higher education across the state of Ohio.

Subject List of databases organizes the library's research databases in the most popular research areas. 


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