How to Build a Keyword List
Reviewing what You've learned
Following are effective strategies for building a list of search terms:
- Start by writing out your topic in a sentence or two, then go through and underline the main words.
- List alternate spellings and abbreviations of your words.
- Skim articles in subject encyclopedias or other tools and "mine" them for keywords. Just like mining for gold, you could find some real nuggets.
- For each of the main words, brainstorm related words, phrases, synonyms, broader terms, and narrower terms. Ask someone to help you. You'd be surprised what you can come up with in just five minutes.
- Look up your terms in a general thesaurus, like Roget's [pronounced row-zhays] Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases to identify synonyms for your words.
- Look up your words in the Library of Congress Subject Headings to find broader and narrower topics, as well as synonyms.