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ISE 380X: Loaded Language: Discourse and Power in International English

Searching is an iterative process


Because every topic of discipline has its own jargon, coming up with lists of keywords will be an integral part of your search process. The more keywords you use to search, the more accurate and successful your search will be. There are a few different ways to find the right keywords to use in your search, but the first step is to consider your research topic and start there:

Think about what concepts you are looking for. For instance, a research topic of: the economic impact of International English in France, has three concepts: economic impact, International English, and France.

Next steps:

  • Try and come up with a list of synonyms or other related terms for each concept. For instance, International English is also known as Global English. For the location (in this case, France), you might want to list regions within France, or look at Europe as a whole.
  • Do not worry if you cannot come up with a lot of synonyms or related terms on your own. This is a good time to start doing general background research on your topic to help find these words. Start on Google, or try an online encyclopedia. See if you can find related terms there. For instance, the Wikipedia article for International English lists the following alternate terms: Global English, World English, Common English, Continental English, General English, Engas (English as associate language), or Globish.
  • Once you gather some general information on your research topic, move on to more in-depth resources such as research articles, which you can find in places like the WPI Library Search, Google Scholar, and Library Subject-Specific databases. These articles will often contain (whether in the abstract or full-text) additional helpful keywords you can use to expand your search.
  • Check out more helpful resources on the home page of this guide.