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BHS_Social Issues: Use Information Seeking Strategies

Brainstorming for SEARCH terms.

When searching...

Databases have difficulty searching for sentences and plain language text. Search by using the most important terms in your topic. For instance, your topic or research question may be "How would the legalization of marijuana effect our legal system?"  Many of the words in this sentence would confuse a database search, by ignoring articles, pronouns, prepositions, and other unimportant words, you will be left with the key words to use in your search.  Concept terms -

How would the legalization of marijuana effect our ?

When searching for articles on this topic in a database, simply use the terms:

- legalization
- marijuana
- "legal system" (use quotation marks to search this as a phrase)

Try Synonyms... 

Now that you've broken down your research question into the specific concepts, think about all the other words an author might use to talk about these concepts.  In other words, find synonyms or related words for each concept term/phrase.  Hint: use a thesaurus if you get stuck. 

legalization       marijuana       "legal system"
laws       drugs       courts
legislation       pot       "judicial system"
policies       grass       "war on drugs"
decriminalize       dope       "justice system"