When you search, you are usually looking for information to answer your assignment question. A common approach, is to type that question into a search engine... but, how relevant are the results you get?
Although some search engines, for example Google, automatically search for synonyms; there isn't one that can understand the context, or meaning, behind the words that you've used. This means that you have to think about what terms you are using in your search (the keywords), and where you search for that information.
First, look at what the assignment question is asking you to do, or find out.
Although this may seem obvious, the time you spend on this step will -
When analysing what the assignment is asking you to do, you should look at the question posed from various angles.
As an example, if given this assignment question:
Discuss a logistical issue faced by the stakeholders of a major New Zealand event of your choice.
You can see that there a many questions within this assignment question, including:
From this analysis, you can see that there are some words that summarise the main ideas within the assignment question, and keep appearing in our sub-questions... these are our keywords!
Then, because not everyone uses the same words to describe something, think of some synonyms, or alternative words, that could be used instead of your keywords...
Analysis of your assignment helps you to identify where you should look for the information you need...
Type of Information needed:
Possible sources of information that will give the type of information required on the subject:
Herring, J. (2012). Year 7 students, information literacy, and transfer: A grounded theory. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/aasl/aaslpubsandjournals/slmrb/slmrcontents/volume14/herring