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WRI 10 (McIntire): Key Words & Search Terms

Key Word Chart

Look for alternate terms for each concept in your topic.

related keywords graphic

Keywords vs. Subjects

keywords vs subjects chart

Share Your Topics & Keywords

Click on the link for your Writing 10 section and enter your topic and keywords on the Google spreadsheet.

Share Research Questions

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:

How can university policies support students who are struggling with issues related to their mental health?

Brainstorm for related terms:

"university policies"

  • "University of California"
  • policy OR policies
  • bylaws


  • "college students"
  • students

"mental health"

  • "mental health"
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • anorexia

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