Choose search terms that you expect to find in written documents about your topic.
If you're looking for secondary sources (including journal articles or books written by scholars), use the language you would expect to find in a scholarly publication.
If you're looking for sources aimed at the public (newspapers, TV news transcripts, blogs), use more colloquial language when searching.
Especially when researching in political science, keep in mind that individuals with different opinions on an issue may use very different language to discuss it. For example, think about who uses the term anti-choice and who uses the term pro-life.
Here are some other ideas to consider:
Once you have found a few sources on your topic, take note of the language that is being used and incorporate it into your search.
Find information more effectively and efficiently by using these strategies. All of these strategies work in Tripod, and most work in search engines and databases as well.
Use this strategy when researching concepts that are phrases (e.g. ethnic identity or divided government), or when searching for a specific book or article (i.e. where you already know the exact title - e.g. Peasants Into Frenchmen).
Save time by searching for multiple synonyms at once. This is sometimes called "nested searching" or "set searching."
Truncation and Wildcards:
Most catalogs and databases enable users to search variations of keywords by using truncation (*) or wildcard (e.g., ?, $, !) symbols. Consider using wildcard searching when there are multiple spellings of a word (e.g. globalization and the British spelling globalisation).
Putting it all together:
Try combining these search strategies to improve your search results.
Example: "house of representatives" AND (candidate*) AND (wom?n OR female)