ENGL 1106: Keywords


Various library resources, specifically databases, can be difficult to search. They require you to select the most important words related to your topic and use those when searching.  If you are having trouble searching, try learning about keywords via these videos and then using them when searching. 

Searching with Keywords

3 Steps to Keywords Success

1. Pull out the most important words in your topic or research question.  Example:

  • Research Question: Does listening to classical music improve intelligence?

  • Keywords: classical music, intelligence

2. Brainstorm synonyms or related terms for your keywords. Example:

  • classical music: Mozart, Bach, chamber music, opera, symphony

  • intelligence: smart, brain, intellect

3. Start with a simple search. Use one or two keywords. Change your keywords based on search results. Remember: Different people use different language to talk about the same concepts.