Keywords are the words you use to search. They're what you enter into the search box of a search tool, such as Google or a Library database like ProQuest.
Databases such as the ones you will be using for your classes provide better results if you use three strategies for entering your keywords, or search terms.
Separate words and phrases with the word and, like this:
texts and teens and driving
The and is called a Boolean operator.
Use and when you want to narrow a search
Another Boolean operator is or, which you can use to link synonyms:
texts and (teens or adolescents) and driving
Notice that when you use or, you also use parenthesis around the words you're connecting (that's important!)
Use or when you want to expand a search.
Use the asterisk (shift + 8) to truncate words. Truncating means that you put an * at the end of the root word.
text -- looks only for the word text
text* -- looks for text, texts, texting
environ* = environment, environmentally
adolescen* = adolescent, adolescence
teen* = teen, teens, teenagers
Use quotation marks around common phrases. Quotation marks will keep your words "stuck" together.