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Prof. Packer - English 101: Build a Search Strategy

Support for English 101 Prof. Packer

Keywords are Important

When searching for sources, use your keywords, do not type in whole sentences. The list of topics are still very broad and can be narrowed down further. E.g.:

Social Inequality >

Access to Resources >

  • Housing
  • Healthcare
  • Transportation
  • Food
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Banking

There is no one 'correct' search word to use. Different keywords will give you more results. Think of words that mean the same or something similar as your topic and try those words too.  E.g. Poverty, Disparities, Income Inequality, Socio-economic status, etc.

*To help focus your results, add a term such as 'United States' or other geographic limiter.


You may need to broaden or narrow  your search terms depending on your results :


Broader Search:  Gender instead of Women

Narrower Search: Racism instead of Discrimination


Use the asterisk * to truncate words and widen your search. Discriminat* will search for Discriminate, Discrimination and Discriminating

Use quotation marks to keep phrases together: e.g. "Food Deserts" "Food Insecurity"


e.g. search  Health Insurance AND Inequality

Medical Care AND Poverty AND Access

Health Services AND Income AND Disparities

Try your search terms in different combinations to get the greatest number of results.


Searching is Strategic

Look For Similar Keywords or Synonyms

Higher Education






Community College

Return on Investment


Graduate School


Student Debt/ Loans



Search Strategy Builder

Types of Articles

Types of Articl

News articles provide the most current information. Certain newspapers, such as the Wall Street Journal and theNew York Times, are also known for thoughtful, in-depth analysis of important topics and events.


Popular magazine articles can help you generate ideas about issues, controversies, or unanswered questions about a topic. They often refer to studies or scholarly work that you can track down for more information.


Trade publications are written by and for professionals within an industry and are an excellent source of very specific information from inside the field.


Scholarly journal articles go through a process of peer review before they are published. They are written by experts in the field, and their purpose is to advance the ongoing body of work within the subjet or  discipline. These articles present original research data and findings, or take a position on a key question within the field. They can be difficult to read because the language is specific to the subject for an intended audience of other experts and academics.

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