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ESTB04: Addressing the Climate Crisis

Keywords Matter

Ask yourself three questions:

  1. What is my topic?
  2. What are the key aspects of this topic?
  3. What are alternate keywords for each aspect?

Brainstorm terms to use in your search by picking words that represent each key aspect of your topic. This can be challenging, since the same idea can be expressed in many ways! To ensure the best results when searching, brainstorm several keywords whenever possible.

Sample Topic

Step 1: Do some background research to refine a research topic. Tools like Google, Wikipedia, or your course materials can be a great source of inspiration if you're struggling with ideas!

  • Sample topic: "What is the impact of eco-anxiety due to climate change on mental health?"

Step 2: Break your topic down into key concepts. Focus on concrete ideas and avoid words that describe the relationship between key concepts (e.g. terms like assess, affect, effect, impact, outcome, etc.). These will be used as the foundation for your search.

  • eco-anxiety AND climate change AND mental health
    • TIP: Keep an eye out for possible ambiguities and/or redundancies (e.g. climate change), then adjust your search topic accordingly!

Step 3: Identify related keywords/synonyms for each concept to help expand your search.

Sample Keywords Brainstorm
Concept 1 Concept 2
eco-anxiety "mental health"
ecoanxiety well-being
"ecological anxiety" wellbeing
eco-distress Manifestations of
positive MH (e.g. happiness)
"ecological distress" Manifestations of
negative MH (e.g. depression, anxiety)
eco-grief (etc.)
"ecological grief"  
"climate anxiety"  
"climate distress"  
"climate grief"