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Research Guides

ISEM101: Sacred Journey (Frey): Home

This guide will help you find information for your assignment for this class.

Search strategy

To successfully search for information on your topic, it is best to determine the main concepts and then find keywords for those concepts. The keywords can become your search words.  In general, you should search library databases approximately 3 keywords, rather than your whole topic question or a sentence.  

For example, your research question is  Are there different Hindu "rites of passage" ceremonies in different countries?

Mark the keywords (italics in this example).

Then begin generating synonyms and related words to help you develop a search strategy.

Hindu rites of passage  countries  
Hinduism initiation India  
other Hindu denominations coming of age Pakistan  
  rituals Nepal  
  ceremonies Indonesia  


In many databases, you could start your search by typing Hindu rite of passage India and it would automatically turn that search into: 

Hindu AND rite* AND passage AND India 

This is a search using Boolean logic


A more advanced Boolean search could be done like this:

hindu* and ("rite* of passage" or "coming of age" or initiation) and (Nepal or India or Pakistan)

In this example the * will also find different endings for the words, such as Hindu, Hinduism, rite, and rites.

Here are some more tips for choosing keywords.

You can also find additional keywords by searching your topic in a database, finding a relevant item and noting the terms used in the description of that item. 

Subject Guide

Diane Prorak's picture
Diane Prorak