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GCS2000: Introduction to Cultural Studies (Saenz)

Thinking of Your Research Question in Terms of Keywords

Pull out the most important aspects of your research question 

  • Who
  • What
  • Where

Use different keywords / synonyms / alternate terms

Brainstorm a list or create a word web

Use a thesaurus to help you think of alternate words

Think of other aspects of your topic

Example Topic:

Memory and History in Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl

First Group of Keywords to Search:

  • Diary of a Young Girl
  • History
  • Memory

Other Keywords to Search:

  • Het Achterhuis (Dutch), The Secret Annex (English)
  • Anne Frank, Annelies Marie Frank
  • Background, Context, Framework
  • Global / Cultural Impact, Significance, Influence, Legacy
  • Holocaust 
  • Concentration Camps, Auschwitz, Bergen-Belson
  • World War Two, WWII, World War 2
  • Nazi Occupation
  • Germany, Nazi Occupied Germany, Nazi Germany
  • Jewish Culture
  • Jewish Religion, Judaism 
  • Anti-Semitism, Anti-Jewish Stigmas 

Remember: You are never just doing one search and ending it. Research is a lengthy process and consists of multiple searches using different combinations of keywords.

Introduction to Keywords (Walden University Library)