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Frankenstein Research Guide: Selecting Keywords

Keyword Brainstorm

Before you start searching for articles in a database or Google, brainstorm keywords you might use to find the most relevant materials. Look at your research prompt or research question to start generating keywords. What are the main ideas? What are some alternate words for those ideas?

Below is an idea of a brainstorm keyword you could draw in a notebook. You can also download the brainstorm as a Word doc and fill it in on your laptop.

Keyword Searching

Notice that I start the search broadly, just starting with the keyword Frankenstein.


My search for Frankenstein yields over 2,500 results of literary criticism articles. To narrow this list down a bit, I'm going to use the "Search Within" feature on the right side of the page to add a keyword. In this case, the keyword is a phrase so I'm going to put it in quotation marks.



Adding that keyword phrase -- "human nature" -- results in 305 articles now. You can add another keyword using the "Search Within" filter or start reading through the list of results to see if any articles look useful. Remember to open up articles to read them for relevancy instead of just relying on the titles.


John C. and Marie E. McCarthy Library, Saint John's High School