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ENG 1B, Huerta: Keyword Searching and Background Information

Background Information

Where should I go for information?

Use reference sources such as Credo Reference or Opposing Viewpoints to learn more about your research topic as well as helping connect you to academic sources. Background information helps give you a general overview of a topic. Keep in mind that while these are more reliable than wikipeida, these are not considered "academic sources" 

Why can't I just use Google?

Google doesn't always provide you with the best sources. It is not quality controlled, rarely peer-reviewed, and does not have advanced searching capabilities. Remember just because something is easy does not mean its the best! 

Keyword Searching

Why develop search terms?

It is the most effective way to plan out your search strategy

  • Synonyms allow us to find similar information
  • Narrower terms help us find mores specific
  • Broader terms help us find more general information. 

If you run into trouble or need help finding terms, try using a thesaurus or some reference materials. 


You can also brainstorm if you find yourself stuck and needing help 


Key Word Examples

For example if your keyword or topic that you are researching is the Masculinity in Mexican-American culture, come up with similar terms, narrower terms, and broader terms to expand your search.



  • Masculine
  • Macho


  • Hegemonic Masculinity


  • Gender Roles
  • Identity
  • Social Norms