Skip to Main Content
Syracuse University Libraries

Research Process: Getting Started: C. Identify Concepts

A guide to assist students in conducting research using the wide variety of information sources available to them.

Identify Key Concepts

Creating research questions will allow you to identify key phrases which will assist you when you begin searching the Library's web site for articles, books and other resources.

For example:

Research question:
Do male college students have more trouble managing their time then female students?

Keywords: college students, time management, male, female, issues


  • Brainstorm different ideas related to your topic.

  • Since different databases use different terms for the same concept, it is a good idea to generate synonyms and related terms for the concepts you wish to explore.

Tools for Brainstorming/Mind-Mapping