Keyword Creation

Introduction to Keyword Creation

You are currently in the module on "Keyword Creation" in a larger tutorial. Each research tutorial includes modules of topics related to the overall tutorial learning objectives. Please go through all the pages in this module by clicking on the “Next” button on the bottom of the page in order to progress. If you would like to track your progress, be sure to log in with your UNCG credentials at the top right of the module. Each module includes Quick Checks on every page. These Quick Checks do not produce a certificate; they are optional and do not track your progress. Certificates are created by completing a whole tutorial, so be sure to complete all the modules within a tutorial in order to generate a certificate. You can also take a screenshot of your progress page. 

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Time needed to complete this module: 10 minutes

Learning Objectives: 

  • Students will develop and use effective search terms for their information needs.
  • Students will use background sources to inform their choice of search terms.
  • Students will consider how choosing appropriate keywords can affect the outcome of a search.

So you’ve been given a class assignment that involves research. Where do you start? How do you decide what to look for? Creating effective keywords is one of the first steps in the research process. In this tutorial, we’ll consider ways to break down a research question into appropriate search terms, where to find inspiration for search terms, and how your keywords can affect the outcome of your search.

But what is a keyword? According to, a keyword is “a word that serves as a key, as to the meaning of another word, a sentence, a passage, or the like” and “a significant or memorable word or term…” For our purposes, it’s a word that relates in a significant way to your research topic or question.

 Note: For purposes of this tutorial, “keywords” and “search terms” are the same thing and will be used interchangeably.

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