2.3 Develop a Keyword List

Before searching for information, I need to decide which words in my research question are the most important and build a keywordKeywords are words or phrases that best describe the information you want to find. You will use these words to build searches that reflect your topic.question mark question mark list.

As I build my list and then create searches, I leave out less relevant words (for example: the, from, about, when, of). The databaseA searchable collection of records. This term generally refers to article databases, which are used to locate articles on different topics.question mark question mark does a more accurate search when I leave out words that don't reflect the meaning of the question.

Example question: How can nurses prevent surgery patients from contracting MRSA?
Keywords: nurses, surgery, prevent, MRSA

I also found that including alternate keywords (synonyms) whenever possible is a great searching strategy. Different authors may use different words to describe the same information. By writing down the synonyms or related words to describe my topic, I save myself stress trying to think of them as I'm searching. Having more than one term for each important concept in my research topic will improve my chances of finding the results I want.

Keywords Alternate Keywords
surgery surgical, medical procedure, operation
prevent preventative, preventive, prevention, preventive care, preventive medicine
MRSA Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
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