Political Science

This guide provides information about conducting research and library resources for students studying political science.

Library Research Guide

Finding Keywords for your Topic

This brief video (0:59) from the University Library at UNC Greensboro explains how to turn your research question into useful keywords. Transcript.

If you would like more practice with keywords, check out the rest of their tutorial!

PATH: Lighting Your Way From Research to Writing (UNCG Libraries) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0


Keywords and Synonyms

Why Keywords?

  • Because good keywords are essential to good research.
  • The more keywords you can think of, the more likely you will find what you are looking for.

Why Synonyms?

Synonyms make your list of keywords longer. More keywords = better searching = more results. Look at the example below to get an idea of how synoyms can broaden your understanding of a given concept:

A mind map showing synonyms and keywords for the word "nature" - personality, essence, makeup, quality, environment, landscape, scenery, world, universe.

Our advice: 

  • Make lists of keywords for the main concepts of your research topic
  • Use single words or simple phrases
  • Be prepared that this may all change as you learn more information through your research
  • Be flexible, be adaptable in your thinking
  • Use a thesaurus to help generate synonyms