On this page you will find some sample search terms you can use to begin your research on Social Welfare Policy. You can use these terms to search in the Thesaurus or Index of a database to come up with even more terms. For a list of relevant databases, see the Social Work research page.
For a search on social welfare policy in the United States, you might use the following search:
First search box: social welfare policy
Second search box: United States
Here are other keywords you may find useful:
Remember to use the connectors OR/AND, also called Boolean operators. OR broadens your search; use it to combine synonyms or related terms. Use AND to combine your major concepts; it narrows the search. These are some examples of searches using connectors:
Sometimes simply searching for the law will bring back results, e.g., "Older Americans Act."
When searching in databases, it is helpful to use the Thesaurus feature to identify the most appropriate search terms for a particular database. This tool is located at the top of the Advanced Search page and sometimes it is called Subject Headings or Subject Terms instead of Thesaurus. Almost all databases have some equivalent of this tool.
In EBSCO company databases, you will find this feature in the bar at the top of the page:
In ProQuest databases, you will find the Thesaurus option above the first search box on the Advanced Search page:
When you enter your keywords into the Thesaurus, it will give you a list of Suggested terms, Broader terms, Narrower terms, Related terms, and Used for terms. For example, a search for Mental illness brings back Mental disorders, and a search for Black brings back African Americans. Using the Thesaurus can really help you generate a good collection of search terms and it ensures you are optimizing your searches in that particular database.
The following journals focus on social welfare policy. For tips on how to find journals by title in our collections, please see the relevant page of the Journals guide.
For more information on browsing journals by topic:
For more tips on choosing databases and building keyword searches, see these helpful guides: