Developing a keyword strategy is important. A lot of students spend a lot of time searching, even on Google. This causes search fatigue and breeds frustration and a hatred for research. You may hear them lament, “I can’t find anything on my topic!”
Additionally, you may find that students are using only a fraction of what you know is written about a topic. This could be students giving up too early, or it could be that they are using the same search terms over and over and retrieving the same results each time.
After doing some background research, have the student brainstorm keywords on their topic by dividing up the important concepts and organizing them into a grid. You can help them organize their thoughts by identifying the first column as the main concept, the second column as what people are arguing about, and the third column as the stakeholders, or who cares about the topic. You may have less than three columns, or more than three, depending on the topic. For example,
Should plastic bags be banned in Austin?
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