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UGS 302: Evidence-based Social Change - Prof. Marteleto

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Pick Terms to Use in your Search

Sample topic:  The effect of socio-economic status on educational attainment in Brazil

Step 1:  Think about the key concepts of your topic and search those instead of an entire phrases or sentences.

  • Key concepts:  socio-economic status educational attainment, Brazil

  • Wait?  Why not "effect"?  Words like "effect" or "pro/con" should be avoided.  The articles you find will be about the impact or effect, so adding those words unnecessarily narrows your search.

Step 2:   Think of other terms you could use that are synonyms or words that represent a narrower or broader aspect of the topic.  

  • Other terms for socio-economic status = SES, class, poor, poverty, middle class, wealthy, elite

  • Other terms for educational attainment = education level, college education, high school education

  • Other terms for Brazil = Brasil 

Step 3: Connect your terms using AND and OR:

  • Example 1: socio-economic status AND educational attainment AND Brazil

  • Example 2: Socio-economic status OR class OR poverty AND educational attainment OR education level AND Brazil

Remember - 

  • AND narrows your topic (use AND between terms if you want them all to appear in your results)

  • OR broadens your topic (use OR between terms if you want any, not all, to appear in your results)

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Follow the Research

Found a good source? Look through the bibliography for other useful sources and track them down in the UT Libraries by searching for the source title in the box on the Libraries home page box on the Libraries home page .

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