Key Ideas and Key Words

Once you have identified your topic, it is useful to identify the key components and concepts contained within the topic.

For example:

Then make a list of words that describe your topic. Generally there is more than one way to describe a concept. Remember, you are searching for concepts. Language and terminology may vary.

Here are some keywords you might use to search for this topic. Can you think of others?

television viewing
watching television
school achievement
academic achievement
school success
elementary school

Where to find keywords and synonyms:
  1. Use -- both the dictionary and the thesaurus portion.
  2. Use a graphical dictionary such as:
  3. In a database, you can use the thesaurus (more later).
  4. As you explore your topic, jot down the keywords used in your readings.

IDevice Icon Your Turn
Think about YOUR topic.  Take a moment to jot down some keywords and ideas.  Once you begin searching, if you don't find enough sources, think of other words that might work.  Add to your list as your search continues.

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