CTAR 601

Synonyms are One Challenge of Vocabulary

Since there are often multiple ways a subject or topic can be expressed, e.g., 

teen, teens, teenagers, adolescents, adolescence, high school students 
films, movies, cinema, motion pictures
aged, elderly, older people, older adults, senior citizens

you should always be alert for any synonyms that are used to describe the subject you are investigating

While database search tools can process information quickly, they are mostly 'dumb,' in that if you type in the search term 'aged', the database will display on the result list items that include the word 'aged' but not bring back to the result list items that use other synonyms, such as elderly, older people, etc.

How do you identify relevant synonyms if you do not know much about your topic or if you are not good at brainstorming new ideas? Using what are called 'traditional academic databases' can help you identify appropriate terms to use when searching in these databases.