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Research Guides

Creating Your Keywords

How to brainstorm:

  1. State your research question/topic

    • Example: "How do cigarette companies target children with their advertising?

  2. Identify main concepts:

    • CONCEPT #1

      CONCEPT #2

      CONCEPT #3

      cigarettes

      children

      advertising

  3. Brainstorm key words based on your own background knowledge:

    • CONCEPT #1

      CONCEPT #2

      CONCEPT #3

      BRAINSTORM

      KEYWORDS

      cigarettes

      smoking

      chew

      tobacco

      smokeless tobacco

      nictone

      smoking industry

      big tobacco

      children

      child

      adolescents

      adolescence

      teens

      teenagers

      students

      youth

      advertising

      ads

      advertisements

      marketing

      commercials

      promotions

      television spots

      product placement

  4. Search Wikipedia and other reference sources to further develop your list of keywords.

 

Keywords can be:

  • synonyms

  • related terms

  • scientific terms/what the experts say 

    • names of experts in the field (scientist? historian?)

  • different words to describe the same thing in the past vs. today (Great War vs WWI)

  • broader ideas

  • narrower ideas

  • alternate spellings (Ex: Ojibwe, Ojibwa)

  • specific examples (Ex: eutrophication -> Lake Okeechobee)

  • abbreviations or acronyms

Keep track of your keywords and your queries.