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Writing 10 (Ayik): Key Words & Search Terms

College Reading & Composition

Key Word Chart

Look for alternate terms for each concept in your topic.

related keywords graphic

Keywords vs. Subjects

keywords vs subjects chart

Tips for Finding Keywords & Subject Headings

  • Use a visual thesaurus like Snappy Words, Visuwords, or GraphWords
  • Use references sources like Credo Reference to get background information and key words.
  • Most EBSCO databases have a tool to help you discover subject terms. See EBSCO Academic Search Complete > Subject Terms
  • Most ProQuest databases have a tool to help you discover subject terms: See PsycInfo > Thesaurus
  • When you find a useful article, look at the database Subject Headings and record them as possible search terms. (Example)


Identify Key Concepts and Terms

Identify the key concepts in your topic:

Will social media's use of facial recognition destroy privacy?

Brainstorm for related terms:

"social media"
"social networks"

"facial recognition" 
"pattern recognition"
"face recognition"
"feature extraction"
"face tracking"

"face detection"

"internet privacy"
"internet security"
"data security"
"personal information"
"network security"

Try Academic Search Complete > Subject Terms to find subject headings for your topic.