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Writing 118 (Maharaj)

Management Communication

Brainstorming Keywords

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.
  • If you're researching a topic from an historical point of view, it may also be helpful to come up with historical terms that may be pejorative today.
  • Stick to using 2-4 nouns when searching.

How to Choose Keywords

McMaster Libraries (2:42)



The University of California should establish a new campus in northern California, increasing opportunities for high school students in the upper half of the state.

My main concepts are:

  • University of California
  • new campus
  • northern California
  • high school students
  • opportunities

Here are some possible alternatives for each of these concepts/keywords:

  • University of California (not many alternatives here, but you could also search for higher education; college; university without California)
  • eleventh campus; new school; new university campus
  • prospective college students; college-bound students
  • chances; ways forward