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Before we start searching in the library databases, take a few minutes to consider which search terms or keywords best describe your topic.
Example: Do veterans with PTSD have better outcomes when they are given service animals?
Identify the main ideas -Do veterans with PTSD have better outcomes when they are given service animals?
Brainstorm Broader, Related and Narrower Terms. Remember that sometimes articles are published by experts in their given field, consider the language that an expert would use.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (related)
Service dogs (narrower)
Vietnam veterans (narrower)
Assistance animals (related)
When you start researching in the databases, you may find that your topic is too broad or too narrow. If your topic is too broad, try getting more specific by asking yourself what group, region, time period and/or point of view you are interested in researching. If your topic is too narrow, use broader keywords to capture more results and follow where the research leads you.