How You Ask – Brainstorming Keyword Terms


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When you decide how to ask, it is also important to think of alternative keywords and phrases for your topic. People can describe the same thing in many different ways, and synonyms can be used to expand your search.

Here are some other related words for the key concepts stereotypes and identity:

stereotypes: prejudice or prejudices, stereotype or stereotypical, mascot, caricature, discrimination, racism, propaganda, tonto, mass media or tv or radio or cartoons


Note that we’ve included variations of keywords such as plurals. Include any alternate spellings of words or abbreviations, too.

If you have trouble coming up with a topic or its keywords:

  • Check a subject encyclopedia for ideas and concepts.
  • Do some exploratory searches in OneSearch. Look at the abstracts or summaries of articles that interest you; they may give you ideas for topics. Also, look at their subject terms for possible keywords.
  • Check a thesaurus for alternative keywords and to get ideas for refining your topic if needed.