Compiling Scholarly Keywords

Creative Commons licensed image posted at Flickr by Jared Zimmerman

Creative Commons licensed image posted at Flickr by Jared Zimmerman

As you find articles in the Library databases or Google Scholar, pay attention to the keywords the authors use to describe their work. You can usually find these keywords near the top of the article, around the abstract of the article, or in the footnotes. Keep in mind, however, that not every article will have keywords listed.

If they don’t have keywords listed, read the abstract of the article and choose 2-3 keywords for yourself (if you think the article looks useful to you, of course. If it doesn’t, then find another article).

Activity 

  • Identify key words for five separate academic articles you find. You should also be saving the PDFs (if they are available) of these useful articles as you check them out.
  • You should come away from this initial research with a small compendium of the keywords that scholars in your research area use to categorize their work.
  • Look at the keywords you have collected and synthesize them into 3-4 main words. You should plan on using these keywords to conduct more research.
  • Share-out: Post the 3-4 main keywords that you synthesized below.

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