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ELP Advanced Writing Tools

English Writing Program (ELP) Advanced Writing for Research

Library Research Guide

The Importance of Keywords

Before you start your search, it's important to make a list of keywords which are the most significant words to use when looking for materials online or in print. Look at the examples below, and watch the video to learn more about keywords. 

Good keywords are essential to good research. Many search engines and databases don't understand full sentences.  So you can't enter your full topic sentence and expect to get good results. You need to identify the most important words in your topic sentence and use those to search. For example, the most important words, or keywords, are underlined below:

Your topic sentence: 
The Current Effects of Deforestation on the Mountain Gorilla in South-West Uganda

The more keywords you can think of, the more likely you will find what you are looking for. To accomplish this, you can use synonyms to expand your research.