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Getting Started with Research

Choosing Keywords


1. Use nouns as keywords. 2. Ignore pronouns, articles, and conjunctions. 3. Consider verbs.

4. Identify keywords as alternate search terms.

Identifying Keywords:

  1. Start by writing your research question, or thesis statement. 
    • Example: Are social media users concerned about their personal privacy? 
  2. Underline the two, or three most important terms that represent your topic. 
    • Example: Are social media users concerned about their personal privacy
  3. Start with fewer keywords, and then try adding different search terms to limit your results


Keyword Tips:

  • Keywords represent the major concepts of your topic
  • Learn new vocabulary or keywords from your initial search results
  • Try variations of a keyword, or synonyms.
  • When you find a worthy source, get additional keywords from the title, abstract, and subject headings.
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