To save time researching your topic, follow the steps below before searching for information.
1. Write down your topic as a broad sentence or question.
Example: Do video games cause violence in children?
2. Identify the main words or concepts in your sentence or question. These are your keywords.
Example: Video Games, Violence, Children
3. Brainstorm alternative words you can use for each of your keywords in Step 2. These should be synonyms or related ideas.
Tip: Think about terminology that might be used by professionals in various disciplines to discuss the same issue. Use a combination of these when searching.
|Computer Games||Violent Behavior||Youth|
|Grand Theft Auto||Bullying||Juveniles|
4. Identify subject areas relevant to your topic.
Tip: Think about who is likely to read and write about your topic. Will there be people from more than one discipline interested?
Example: Psychology, Sociology, Education
5. Create a Concept Map
A concept map is another tool you can use to create a search strategy for your topic. Download a Printable Concept Map to create your own.
For more help, watch this tutorial about filling out a concept map.