Identifying Key Concepts




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How you ask influences the outcome of your search.

No matter where you’re searching, you will need to pick out the most important keywords contained in your research question. These are generally nouns.

In the research question below, there are 3 keywords that are essential to the meaning of a search, and they are considered key concepts.

How have stereotypes affected the identity of Native Americans?

Concept 1: stereotypes
Concept 2: identity
Concept 3: Native Americans


Worksheet Question 2: Now examine your own research question. What keywords are essential to the meaning of your search? Remember this cardinal rule of searching: The more you key in, the less you get back.