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Writing 101 (Toconis): Using Keywords

Writing in the Disciplines: Psychology

Break Down Your Topic / Question

The words you type into the search box affect your search results. Not all authors use the same language to describe similar topics, so you will need to try a variety of searches.

  • Create a list of possible words that could appear in a book or article related to your topic of interest.
  • Come up with synonyms or related terms for those.
  • Stick to using 2-4 nouns when searching.

How to Choose Keywords

McMaster Libraries (2:42)

Example

"How do sleep habits affect the academic success of college students?"

My keywords are:

  • sleep habits
  • academic success
  • college students

What are some possible alternatives for each of these keywords?

Sleep habits Academic Success College students