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College Reading & Writing Blog Project

Using OneSearch

Developing Search Terms/Keywords

When searching, you want to only type those keywords or key terms for your topic. You do not want to type in full sentences. 

One way to develop  keywords is to brainstorm the most important words or concepts that are associated with your speech topic.

Another way to develop keywords is to identify the main ideas or concepts you want to research and using those in a Google search. You may come across a Wikipedia article that will provide an overview of your topic with links to articles or websites about your topic. You can also do this using OneSearch, where you may find a Research Starter, which will similarly provide a brief overview of a topic and links to other articles or websites. You would not typically use neither the Wikipedia entry or the Research Starter as a source for your outline, but the articles and websites that are linked to could be used.

Because you may need to try multiple different words in order to find the right information, it's a great idea to try to think of all the synonyms or related terms for your topic.

For example, if I want to create an outline for a speech about the use of social media in cyber bullying of high school students, some terms you may consider searching are: 

  • social media
  • cyber bullying 
  • cyber harassment
  • students
  • cyber stalking
  • online bullying
  • trolling 
  • teens
  • tweens
  • adolescents
  • high school age
  • Facebook

Click the next tab to find out how to combine your search terms into one search.

Combining Search Terms

Now you have brainstormed your search terms, it is time to start searching. But, if you are researching the topic about use of social media in cyber bullying of high school students, you'll notice that you have three different concepts you will want to search: social media, cyber bullying, and high school students.

You can connect these concepts with the words, AND, OR, NOT. Take a look at the video below for a brief explanation of how to use these terms in your search:

Video created by Western University

Click the next tab to find some tips on using these terms to search.

Searching OneSearch

So far, we have brainstormed keywords and connected our concepts using AND, OR, NOT. Now, it's time to start our search.

Finding the right information may take multiple tries of different keywords, so try not to get frustrated if your first search does not work. Remember, you can always Ask a Librarian for help.

Keeping with our example of use of social media in cyber bullying of high school students, instead of searching all three concepts because that may limit my search results, I will start with just two: cyber bullying and high school students

To search Onesearch:

  1. Go to https://library.prairiestate.edu/
  2. Place your search in the OneSearch box:
  3. Once you click enter or the search icon, you will be taken to the results page, where you will see there are more than 3000 results!
  4. Click the next tab to find out how to understand what the results mean and how to use the tools that are available to limit or filter your results.

Understanding Your Results

As you can see, our search generated over 3000 results. This may be much fewer than a Google search, but you may still want to use the variety of tools provided in OneSearch to limit or filter your results to only those relevant to your search.

First, let's look at one result to find out what information it can tell us to let us know if we will want to read the entire article.

Filtering or Limiting Your Search Results

Now, let's take a look at how we can filter or limit our search result set to show only those that are important or relevant to my topic.