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The Research Process: A Guide for OCC Students: 1c. Identify Keywords

This guide will walk you through the research process for a standard research paper.

Tip!

Struggling to identify #keywords based on your #topic?

Try this instead... what words would you #hashtag if you were posting to a #social network feed?

Developing Keywords

Developing Keywords CC-BY University of Houston Libraries 

Identifying Keywords

The keywords you use can have a profound impact on the results of your research. Using the “right” words will speed up the research process, while the “wrong” words can bring to it to a halt.

Before you can begin searching for information, you need to identify keywords related to your topic. Key terminology can be easily be found by scanning:

If you are still struggling:

  • Use a thesaurus to identify synonyms.
  • Find pictures related to your topic, then describe them.
  • Brainstorm keywords with a librarian, your instructor, or a friend.
  • Use a keyword generator.