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SOCB30: Political Sociology

Fall 2017


Searching for information relies heavily on the use of keywords. Being able to translate your topic into meaningful keywords is the difference between quickly finding information, or having a long and frustrating search for relevant articles. Here are some ways to generate keywords:

  • Brainstorm keywords ahead of time. Consider your topic: Was it covered in course readings? What do you know about it already?
  • Consider synonyms.
  • Do some background research; Wikipedia is fine for this. Consider the words being used to describe your topic.
  • Look at the words that pop up as you type in a database. There might be a new keyword in there somewhere.
  • If the database has one, look at the thesaurus.
  • Find an article that is really relevant to your topic. What keywords are within the article? What subjects were assigned to the article? Look at the references for that article.
  • Consider phrases that are used to describe a topic.
  • Background

    The Oxford Bibliography Online has key readings and sources many relevant topics.

    For example, see all their hits for politics + sociology.