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Writing 118 (Maharaj): Identify Keywords

Management Communication

Asking Questions

Asking questions may help us identify keywords and determine that we have a proposal of significance.  See the Google spreadsheet Columns B - E.

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)



DreamWorks should create its own school of animation to increase cash flow.

My keywords are:

  • DreamWorks
  • school of animation
  • cash flow

Here are some possible alternatives for each of these keywords:

  • DreamWorks
  • school of animation, animation school, animation studio, "school of visual effects"
  • cash flow, profit, financial viability, money, investment

Class Activity

Looking at your research topic or question, what are 2-3 word/phrases that represent your topic?

Type your answer in Column D.