Jump to navigation
Follow these steps
See our guide to facilitating undergraduate English Composition courses:
English Composition Instructor Resources
Often you'll need to come up with different words to search than the words in your research question.
Try lots of different keyword combinations until you find the ones that gives you the best, most relevant results.
Research question: How can students get involved in fighting for social justice issues?
Questions to think about
1. What type of students? (High school? college? other?)
2. What sorts of social justice issues?
3. Does "get involved" mean as an occupation, as a volunteer or as a researcher? (or something else?)
Answer these questions to come up with the most useful keywords.
Identify key terms
If you only used words from your research question you would use:
students, involvement, social justice.
But you may be able to find better, additional words to use in your search.
Example: Say your interest lies more in how college students can seek leadership roles in supporting (or fighting against) DACA.
What synonyms or related terms are there for this research question?
Examples include university, organizing (or organization), dreamers, immigration, border, refugees
Compiling and using synonyms and related terms ensures you don’t miss any articles that might be important for your research.
Now you’re ready to do a search.
Use this handy tool to help you come up with more keywords:
Mind Mapping for Focusing Your Topic
Main Library | 1510 E. University Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85721
University Information Security and Privacy
© 2023 The Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of The University of Arizona.