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A general guide to resources in the field of biology

Develop Effective Search Strategies

To determine what keywords to use when searching, write out your question on a piece of paper and then underline the words in your question that best express what it is you are looking for.  For example, if this is my research question:

Are gender traits completely a result of societal expectations?

I would focus in on the bolded words:
Are gender traits completely a result of societal expectations?

Then, I would construct my search as follows:

"gender traits" AND "societal expectations

If I am not happy with my search results I could think of synonyms for my search terms, then try a new search.

Instead of gender traits, I could also try:

"social role" AND "societal expectations"

"gender norm" AND "societal expectations

As you look through your search results, pay particular attention to the words the authors are using, as these can give you ideas for keywords to try in future searches.

Remember, you want to find good information on your topic, and in order to find good information, plan to spend time searching!

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