A keyword is a word that you commonly use to describe your subject. When you search a catalog or database, your search results are a list of books or articles that match the keywords you used. Finding the right words is the "key" to successful research!
Ways to brainstorm keywords:
Use this checklist as you consider topics:
___ Did you review the expectations for the paper/project? Does your topic meet the expectations?
___ Is your topic interesting to you?
___ Will you be able to find enough quality sources on this topic? (see video below)
___ If the paper/project requires you to write at length--let's say 5 pages--ask yourself if you can write 5 pages of quality content on your topic?
As you consider these questions, do some preliminary reading about your topic. Even brief background reading (CQ Researcher/Points of View/Wikipedia) will help you understand some of the basic concepts, terms and scope of your topic.
Source: NCSU Libraries
These sources will give you an overview of a topic and some ideas of ways that you can pursue the topic in more detail.
Use background research to locate key information on your topic, including the following: