Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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.