Now that you have main concept identified, draw a table and enter your main concepts in the first column. Then, start filling in the rows with relevant synonyms and related terms. (Synonyms are words with the same or similar meanings.) The reason you are looking for synonyms and related terms because authors tend to to refer to concepts in different ways. One author might use the term windmill throughout her entire article, while another author might use the phrase wind turbines throughout his article. Both articles might be relevant to your research. So, to retrieve all the articles that might be relevant for your research, you'll need to think about including synonyms and related terms in your database search.
The purpose of this table is to help you understand how you will combine your synonyms and main concepts using "AND" and "OR" when you enter your search into a database.
Need help? Try our How to fill out a keyword table tutorial, or Ask Us!
Or, if you prefer, you can construct your table this way:
Having trouble thinking of synonyms or related terms? Try these 3 tips:
1. Try some web searches on your topic and see if you land on any websites that give you keyword ideas.
2. Check Wikipedia (or another encyclopedia) for entries on your topic -- this can lead you to keywords you might not have thought of. See below:
3. As you search databases and begin to find a few articles or books that look promising, look to see if keywords have been assigned to these publications like in the example below.