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
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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