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ECON 211: Topic & Keywords

Welcome! This guide is intended as a resource for the Current Events Project for Dr. Sonja Kolstoe's section of ECON 211.

Research process

1. Explore topic basics and develop keywords (casual searching)

2. Understand how to evaluate sources of information (CRAAP method + information literacy and critical thinking)

3. Apply techniques (keywords + evaluation strategy) to find articles (library databases, materials, and more)

4. Support your analysis (cite reliable sources)

5. Drafts & revisions (research librarians and other resources)


What are keywords? Keywords are the most important words in a research statement or question. They are the words that create significance or meaning.

Why use keywords? Keywords are important in research because they are highly useful to facilitate an online search for information. They open the doors to vast amounts of information. Keywords may also be referred to as “search terms.”

To narrow down your search, try thinking of a topic that interests you the most. How might economics tie into this subject? 

Some examples:

  • travel & tourism
  • environmentalism
  • food (groceries, restaurants)
  • sports
  • entertainment (books, movies, TV, etc.)

If you want a more broad sense of what is available, make a habit of regularly looking through the Business or Economics section of a news source or magazine. What are the trends? What topics are frequently reported on?

In-class Keyword & Search Term Exercise

More Keyword Development

Fill out the keyword sheet to explore wording that is used to describe your topic.

A simple tool such as a thesaurus may allow you to find keyword variations that can be used to search the library catalog, article databases, etc.

Explore the web

Explore, explore, explore! Get a general sense of what information is available before you delve too deep into anything. Make note of useful keywords along the way and areas to explore further.

Google Web Search