Step 1: What is your research topic or question?
It' usually easier to come up with keywords if you can formulate your topic into a sentence or a question.
What was the cause of failure for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge?
Step 2: Pick your keywords
Figure out your keywords: your keywords are the main concepts from the research topic or question.
Step 3: Find synonym
Use related words and phrases (synonym): There are multiple ways to express the same concept.
"Tacoma Narrows Bridge" can also be: "Tacoma Narrows" or Suspension Bridge
Failure analysis can also be: failure, collapse, forensic analysis
Step 4: Evaluate your results set
Read the abstract and information and information about the results and identify potential resources to use.
Scenario 1: Too few results found
Scenario 2: Too many results found
Adjust your list of keywords as you search and learn about your topic and appropriate vocabulary.
Step 5: Search again
Research is iterative and you will have to keep searching and improving your search to find all the resources you need.
Content of this portion borrowed from: Ryerson University Library & Archives