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ENGWR 300 (Van Zanten)

ENGWR 300 (Van Zanten)

Working with Keywords

Selecting and Using Keywords

List Possible Keywords

Identify the keywords that best describe your topic. These can be used as search terms in the various search tools you might use to conduct your research, such as individual library databases, OneSearch, and Google.

Start with your main concepts.

  • misinformation AND "climate change"


Keep it simple. It's better to enter a few well-chosen words than a long description of your topic. Also, notice the quotation marks around the phrase, climate change. This will search for only those two words next to each other (in that order).


Do some brainstorming and come up with synonyms for your keywords. You may have to work on each concept separately.

List some synonyms for misinformation:

  • "Fake News"
  • Disinformation 


List some synonyms for Climate Change.

  • "Greenhouse Effect"
  • "Global Warming"


Can you think of any others?

Broader and Narrower Search Terms

Can you think of some Broader, Narrower, and Related keywords for Misinformation and Climate Change?

Broader Search Terms

  • Climate
  • "Social Media"


Narrower Search Terms

  • "Carbon Footprint"
  • Tweets


Related Search Terms

  • "Solar Energy"
  • "Fossil Fuels"


What are some others?

Use Wikipedia to Track Down Useful Keywords

Once You Begin Your Search


  • Keep your list of keywords handy as you work with OneSearch or a library database.
  • If a particular search doesn't give you the results you need, go back to your list and try another approach.
  • As you are searching, you may come across new keywords that would work well with your search strategy.
  • Stay flexible!