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How to Generate Keywords from your Topic / Research Question

  • Break down your research question into concepts
    • Example: "How does US foreign policy affect the Gulf States?"
    • Your main concepts could be "US foreign policy" and "Gulf States"
  • Turn your concepts into keywords
    • Example: one of your concepts is "Gulf States"
      • Find broader terms: "Arab states"
      • Find alternative terms: "Gulf Countries", "GCC countries"
      • Find narrower terms: "Qatar", "Bahrain" etc
  • Combine your keywords with Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) and use them in different tools like HoyaSearch or other databases:
    • Example: "Qatar" AND "US foreign policy" to search for resources that contain both keywords| "Qatar" OR "Bahrain" to search for resources with keyword Qatar or Bahrain which are both Gulf States

Watch the following video for more information: