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Business Communications COMM10000D: Search Tips

Search with keywords

Capitalization doesn't count, EXCEPT if you use AND, OR or NOT in your search, those words must be in capital letters, or they will be ignored, e.g.

  • "global warming" OR "climate change"
  • "social media" AND Canada


Enclose phrases in quotation marks, to keep the words together in the order you need, e.g.:

  • "climate change"
  • "social media"
  • "human resources"
  • "supply chain management"

Identifying keywords

Step One: Create and write your research question, example:

Should employees in Canada be given unlimited vacation time?

Step Two: Create your search, and focus on nouns (people, places or things) only. These will be your keywords or phrases - not who, why, where, when, how or what. (Check out the video on the left for more tips.)

  1. employees  2. vacation 3. Canada

Step Three: Identify synonyms for each keyword or phrase. Remember to put any phrases in quotes, e.g..

 Keyword 1
 Keyword 2
Keyword 3
"time off"

You can find more synonyms or keywords using the Visual Thesaurus (see below) or .

Truncate! Find word variations

Try adding an asterisk *  to the root of any word to pick up other variations of the word:

  • Canad* will also find Canada, Canada's, Canadian
  • work* will also retrieve workplace, workers, worked, working