Prior to starting a search, set aside important concepts of your subject and make a list of relevant words and expressions for each concept. These words and expressions may contain synonyms, words of wider or narrower meaning, related terms, etc.

For example: How does the depiction of violence on TV influence aggressive behaviour of young people.


Different aspects of this subject contain violence, television, young people. 

1. concept 2. concept 3. concept
violence television young people
aggression tv child, children, childhood
    teenager, teenagers, teens
    adolescent, adolescents, adolescence


All these aspects have to be taken into account in building a search.

  • Different spelling forms (organisation – organization),
  • abbreviations (European Union – EU) and
  • singular and plural noun forms

have to be considered as well.