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ENGL 103 Research Guide (Eckardt): Topic to Keywords

In the research process: Web

1. Identify an arguable topic
(non-library sources)
2. Learn the background (library Discovery tool: books)
3. Discover scholarly conversations (library databases: journal articles)
4. Support your argument (source citation)
5. Rinse, repeat; drafts & revisions (research librarians, writing center)



"SO WHAT" topics, keywords, and broader terms

Review: Topic to keywords

My example topic comes from a discourse community that I consider myself to be a member of: female Philadelphia Flyers fans (try saying that 5 times fast).




It's a topic that I know quite a bit about and am embedded within, giving me a unique look into the community.

Why is this topic important?


Step 1: Write down your topic statement.

A successful topic statement is usually just one sentence. 

Examples of a topic statement

Examining female Philadelphia Flyers fans can illustrate a specific demographic for how hockey can grow and maintain its various fanbases. 


Female Philadelphia Flyers fans can specifically illustrate how hockey, and sports in general, do not view female fans as valued members of their fanbase.  


           ...another topic sentence?

Step 2: Pull out the keywords from your topic statement.

Keywords are the most important ideas found in your topic statement. 


female     gender     women     Philadelphia Flyers     sports fan     fandom     hockey     ice hockey