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Starting Point

Step 1:  Think about your topic!  What questions are you trying to answer?

Step 2:  List terms that best represent the main concepts of your topic.

  • list
  • keywords
  • relevant to topic or assignment 

If nothing comes to mind, it is time to do some background research!

keyword strategy

Topic Overviews

Background Sources

Keyword Strategy

Choose Keywords

These words are the main concepts of your topic statement. Before you begin looking for information, select up to 3 key words to begin your research. To save time, generate a list of related key words to use for back up information searches.

SAMPLE TOPIC: The Problem of Binge Drinking by College Students Cannot Be Solved by Banning Alcohol Use on Campus

Example:

PRIMARY SUBJECT: binge drinking OR college students, alcohol
KEY WORDS: binge drinking, college students, ban, alcohol
RELATED WORDS: campus, hazing, fraternities

Research Strategy

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