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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ESL Undergraduate Student Guide

A guide to support international students in ESL 112 and 115 and beyond.

How to Complete the Brainstorming Keywords Worksheet: Video

Watch this video for step-by-step directions for completing your Brainstorming Keywords Worksheet.

If the video is not opening, this may be a browser issue associated with Flash. Try viewing in Firefox. 

You can follow the instructions  and view the sample Brainstorming Keywords Worksheet below.

How to Complete the Brainstorming Keywords Worksheet

Click on the ​ESL Brainstorming Keyword Worksheet ​link below to download a copy of the worksheet.

NOTE: ​You MUST download and complete this in Word.

Step 1: Write the topic for your paper in the box at the top of the worksheet.

Underline the keywords or keyword phrases for your topic. These are the main ideas for your topic and they can be single words or phrases. They are usually nouns.

Step 2: Brainstorm additional keywords that are either synonyms, broader keywords, or narrower keywords. Write your additional keywords in the boxes next to the main keywords.

  • You may wish to use a thesaurus to find ideas for other keywords.

Step 3: Choose a word from two or three rows and then add each one per search box in Academic Search Ultimate to start searching. Different keyword combinations will give different search results.

Step 4: Write down any new keywords you discover while searching. These new keywords may be more helpful in finding articles relevant to your topic.

Download a Brainstorming Keywords Worksheet