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Information for projects: 3. Keywords

A problem or topic based guide to help you with your academic assignments from start to finish

Downloads and resources

To get started with identifying your keywords, you can download these files to save or print.  
Then start planning!

Identify your search terms or keywords

Identify keywords image

In this example, the title of the assignment is "What is meant by stress and the relationship between stress and animal welfare?"

Not everyone who has written about this topic will have used the same words that are in your assignment.
So, instead of typing in a few words from the title, identify the main keywords in the title and then think of words that mean the same or similar (synonyms) so that you can find more relevant stuff.

Do this

Imagine that you have been given one of the following assignment titles and you need to find research information to support your writing (or use your own assignment title):

'The impact of renewable energy technologies on industry'


'The causes of obesity in teenagers'

Think about alternative terms and phrases you might use to describe the same concepts in one of these titles.

Start planning your search strategy by writing the following:

  1. Brief outline of your topic:
  2. Scope of your research (e.g. time period covered, any aspects specifically excluded?)
  3. Useful keywords, proper names...Note here any spelling variations, for example globalization (US), globalisation (UK)

Keywords checklist

Keywords checklist image

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