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History Seminar Research Paper Guide: Keywords

Keywords

Key terminology can be easily be found by scanning:

  • Your initial research questions 
  • Encyclopedia and other articles used when conducting background research
  • Bibliographies found at the end of books and articles

If you are still struggling, then try these suggestions:

  • Use a thesaurus (Microsoft Office, print or online) to identify synonyms
  • Find pictures related to your topic, then describe the picture
  • Brainstorm keywords with a librarian, your instructor, or a friend

Make a list  or use the chart below to keep track of keywords related to your topic. Keep it by your side when you start your research.

The keywords you use can have a profound impact on the results of your research. Using the “right” words will speed up the research process, while the “wrong” words can bring it to a screeching halt.

If the keywords you choose initially do not give you the results you need, try the others on your list

Keyword chart

  

Initial
Topic

Similar
Terms

Broader
Terms

Narrower
Terms

Related
Terms

Example

Chinatown

Ethnic Neighborhoods

Neighborhoods

Chinatowns -- United States -- History

Chinatown (San Francisco) -- History

San Francisco Chinatown

 

Chinese Americans – California

San Francisco – History

Immigration

Historic Buildings

 

Fill-in your
topic &
keywords