Skip to Main Content

Text Descriptions of Images in Guides

This guide contains a long text description of images used in guides for accessibility purposes.

Brainstorming Keywords

Brainstorming Keywords

1.Define your research question or topic
Why? Understanding your topic before you dive into searching keeps you focused on your topic and less likely to get sidetracked by irrelevant material.
2.Break it down – Pick out the core concepts (usually nouns or noun phrases)

TIPS: Try just 2-4 keywords. Avoid “fluff” words like impact and effect

Why? Words such as impact are used often and in multiple contexts, so you are not likely to get relevant results.

3.Identify 1 or 2 synonyms for each core concept

Why? Search engines and some databases can guess what you mean, but they may only return what you put in the search box.


1. What is the impact of climate change on the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee?

2. What is the impact of climate change on the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee?

3. “climate change” = "climate disruption," "global warming"

"Smoky Mountains" =  mountains, "national parks"

Tennessee =  southeast, US


TIPS: Search exact phrases by using quotation marks; Use broader or narrower terms and related words as synonyms