This page contains enriched content visible when JavaScript is enabled or by clicking here. Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

University of Portland Clark Library

ENG 107: College Writing (Blumenthal): Developing & Exploring

Creating an Effective Search Strategy

  1. Start by writing a short description of your topic, such as:

    Use of cell phones in the college classroom

  2. Next, identify the key concepts of your topic, and brainstorm alternate terms:

    college: college, university, higher education

    cell phones: cell phones, smartphones

  3. Use the asterisk (*) to find different variations of search terms:

    college* matches results with: college or colleges

    universit* matches results with: university or universities

More advice on developing a topic

Explore Popular Press Publications

Search Popular Press Publications to see how your topic is being explained and discussed in newspaper and magazine articles.

Explore Reference eBooks

Go beyond Wikipedia. Search Reference eBooks to find definitions or overviews related to your topic. | 503.943.7111 or 800.841.8261 | 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland, OR 97203-5798
© 2020 University of Portland, All Rights Reserved | Icons made by Freepik from