Reductive Strategies

Turning Questions into Queries
stack of pancakes

Choose words carefully

The first step in power searching is to turn a question into a query. Do this by selecting only the NECESSARY words from the search question.

Search Question: What is a good recipe for making fluffy pancakes?
what are keywords?

What are the necessary words in the question? Only three are needed: RECIPE FLUFFY PANCAKES. The other six words just complicate the search. Try to limit queries to 2-5 Keywords. Starting with 9 words, this question reduces to 3 keywords. Keywords are the necessary words for answering the question.

Some Keywords are better than others

Good keywords describe OBJECTS. The six words left out of the query are not observable objects. These parts of speech are important for talking, not searching. These words include:

  1. Verbs (IS, MAKING)
  2. Articles (A)
  3. Prepositions (FOR)
  4. Adjectives (WHAT, GOOD)

In general, avoid using anything other than nouns or numbers. In this case, FLUFFY is necessary since it's the KIND of PANCAKE desired, as opposed to THIN or CRISPY or MICKEY MOUSE or another type which may have a different recipe.

On the next page, see if you can pick out the necessary Keywords.

Keep it short: 2-5 Keywords


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