Choosing Search Terms
for Search Engines
words you type into a search engine determine what you will
find. It's worth it to think carefully about which terms
you choose, and why - and to try different terms if you're
not finding what you want.
engines take your words literally, and will look for them
in documents. If you use movement
language, you are likely to find movement information
sources. If you put your research question in mainstream
language, you are more likely to find academic,
government and industry sources.
your opposition will use their own terms. For example: a
news article may talk about the police, but the police describe
themselves as peace officers.
can use the different kinds of language strategically. Here
is an overview of the types of information you can find
and how you can use it in your campaign.
action, environmental justice, gentrification, prison
industrial complex, welfare deform....
demonstration, conservation, revitalization, criminal
justice system, welfare reform...
movement analysis and political context
* potential allies
* critical information
academic reports and studies
* reports from liberal think tanks
* data from government agencies
* opposition's analysis of issue
To sharpen your understanding of
* To identify new allies
* To learn about similar struggles in
To find statistics and analysis that add
credibility to your campaign
* To mobilize a broader base
* To understand your opposition's rhetoric
and have an effective response