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LLED 200 - Introduction to Writing in Academic and Professional Registers for Ritsumeikan Students

Library research guide for UBC-Ritsumeikan Program students in AEP-LLED 200: Introduction to Writing in Academic and Professional Registers

Effective Keywords for Effective Searching

Without the right keywords, we may miss important resources that are available to us. Try and think about possible terms before running your search, and keep in mind the following:

Think about what areas you want to concentrate on. Will your paper focus on the issue in Vancouver or Canada more broadly? Can you make a comparison with Japan?

Date Range
When did this start to become an issue? Even though this may be a current topic of interest, you may need to look back further for your sources. For example, when did using cell phones while driving begin to be problematic?

Are there major politicians or other individuals who are integral to this issue?

Events / Related Issues
What other events or issues are related to the topic?

Search Techniques

Boolean operators

Boolean operators are simple words (AND, OR, NOT or AND NOT) used to combine or exclude keywords in a search, resulting in more focused and productive results.

Example: Do you have a cat/dog?

allows you to search for terms that could have more than one ending.

school* = school OR schools

allows you to substitute 0 or more letters in a word.

colo*r = colour OR color

Quotation Marks
in many databases allows you to search for words together as a phrase

"residential schools"

A full guide on truncation and wildcard use within library databases is available here.

Language Issues

Although Hepburn romanization in now standard, older materials sometimes have variant romanization. You may miss finding something if you use a different romanization in your search, so try using "OR" searches or the following.

Wildcards and Truncation
Wildcards and truncation may be used in order to catch romanization and spacing issues. 

Truncation Example:
kaguya? = "kaguya hime" | "kaguyahime".

Wildcard Example:
na?ba = "nanba" | "namba"

Note: the question mark is used for the UBC Library catalogue, but other databases have other truncation/wildcard symbols. See this wiki page for a more comprehensive guide.