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SPARK: Determining Keywords

A resource for students wanting to improve their academic and research skills.

Determining Keywords

Once you have identified the concepts relevant to your topic, you will need to translate these into specific keywords to use as search terms. The concepts you identified may themselves serve as good keywords; however, some concepts will require adaptation to yield effective keywords. Potential keywords may include synonyms for, and examples of, each concept. For example, consider how the identified concepts can lead to potential keywords for the following:

“Choose one aboriginal group and discuss its challenges in asserting control over ancestral land”
Chart with examples of keywords derived from topics


Use the Search Strategy Worksheet located in Resources for Research Strategies to help you identify your concepts and determine possible keywords.

Keywords: Pick Wisely