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Barrington Middle School: Keyword Searching

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What is a Keyword?

What is a Keyword?

A keyword is a descriptive word or set of words that describe a topic. You use a keyword or keywords to find information you need about a subject.

Introduction to Keyword Searching

Keyword Game

Click on Brain POP to watch a video about keywords. At the end, there is a keyword search game. Be sure to play it and see how you do.


Suggestions for Advanced Keyword Searching

Keep it SIMPLE and specific - use only a few keywords that best represent the topic

If you have more than one keyword (people, places, book titles, multiple words), it is sometimes helpful to type them surrounded by quotation marks. Quotation marks tell the search engine to look for sites that have the exact phrase inside the quotes.

Example #1: a search for “George Washington” will find articles that have George Washington not articles with George, Washington, or Washington George.

Example #2: a search for “chronic fatigue syndrome” will find articles that have the exact phrase, chronic fatigue syndrome, but not articles that just have any one of the three words in any order.


  • Do not assume that the first "hit" in the results list is the best choice.

  • If you don’t find what you are looking for in the first ten results, modify your keywords and search again.

  • Ask for help if you have trouble finding what you need. 

  • Using search engines like Google, Yahoo, etc.
    • If you are searching for on the web different search engines may give different results.
    • Always remember to evaluate the information you find. Think about the following!

      1. Anyone can put a website on the Internet.

      2. There is no company or person who checks every website for accuracy and bias.

      3. Sites constantly change; new sites appear; and old ones disappear. 

        *This content is provided by Common Sense Media, from their "Zoom in with Internet Keyword Searches" Lesson