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E 303: Plan II World Literatures, Pat Garcia

1. Brainstorming Keywords

Brainstorming Keywords

Read this section to learn about how keywords work, so you are prepared to create your own. 

1. Save time, prepare to research!

  • Break your research question into key concepts 
  • For each of these concepts, brainstorm multiple keywords, which are synonyms and related ideas. 

Sample Topic:

   Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nigeria, Americanah

Key Concepts

Adichie

Nigeria

Americanah

Related Keywords

Black woman writer
fiction
novels
intersectionality

Africa
Lagos
Igbo, Yoruba
Anglophone Africa

immigration
assimilation
international students
coming-of-age


2. Combine keywords using AND and OR:

  • Too many results? Try using quotation marks around an exact phrase. Ex: "the international student experience"
  • Still too many results? Narrow using AND. Ex: Adichie AND assimilat*
  • Too few results? Broaden using OR. Ex: Adichie AND (uni* OR college OR student*)
  • Put parentheses around synonyms.
  • The asterisk finds multiple endings from a root word. Ex: wom* will bring back women, woman's, wombat, etc.

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