How to Write a Research Paper: Identify Keywords

A step-by-step guide.

What are...?

Keywords are important words/concepts found in your research question or thesis. 

A quick and dirty way to pull keywords from a research question/thesis is to choose the most important nouns; all other words are irrelevant.

Using keywords to search will always retrieve more results than phrases or sentences.

Image source:  Producer.  CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons


Keywords have a profound impact on search results. Using the right words will speed up the research process, while the wrong ones can bring to it to a painfully screeching halt.

If the keywords you initially choose do not give good results, try others on your list, try search strategies, or ask a librarian for help.

Use the chart above to document keywords related to your topic.  Keep it by your side when you start your research.





Image source: Powernowllc. CC0 1.0.  Wikimedia Commons.


Before you begin searching for information, you must identify keywords related to your topic. Find keywords:



Image source:  Evan-Amos.  Public Domain.  Wikimedia Commons.