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Search effectively

Make a List of Synonyms



If you don't know much about your topic, or if English isn't your first language, you can use Google Search and online dictionaries/thesauruses to find other words. The video below will show you how. Keep scrolling down for more tips and methods to find alternative words for effective searching.

1. Authors use a wide range of terminology

A researcher writing a paper about teenagers may use the word teenager, however another researcher may use the word teen or adolescent.

That is why it is important to consider alternative terminology when conducting your search. By using a range of synonyms you will increase your chances of finding useful results.

For Example:

phone = cellphone; cellular phone; mobile phone; smart phone; mobile telephone; mobile device








2. Spelling variations

Also think about variations in spelling and single word vs multiple word forms.

For Example:

  • behaviour vs behavior
  • healthcare vs health care

3. Make a table in Word

It can be helpful to organise your lists into a table so that you can refer to them while searching:

Dietary factors    Migraine          Adolescence          



food intake


vascular headache





young adults