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PSY 101 - Northwest - Introduction to Psychology: Selecting a Topic

Find a topic

Topics don't grow on trees.  Explore topics in these web sites and databases:

Identifying Keywords

After identifying your topic, begin selecting keywords to use in your research.

1. State your topic as a question. 

2. Identify keywords from your research question.

3. Identify synonyms for your keywords, as well as broader terms, narrower terms, and related terms that may help with your search.  It may help to use a thesaurus to find synonyms for your keywords. 

4. Use keywords and synonyms to find relevant books, articles, and websites about your topic.  As you read through articles and books, write down any additional related keywords that may be relevant to your topic.


Sample Research Question Keywords, synonyms
What are the psychological characteristics of athletes?
  • athlete psychological characteristics
  • psychology of athletes
  • athlete psychology
  • athletic mental health
  • sports psychology