chat loading...
Skip to Main Content

Research & Writing: Studio Practice Research

Help with writing and conducting research, including resources for starting your research


Keywords are the words you use to search for information. It is helpful to identify synonyms for the most important words in your research question because, unlike Google, most Library databases do not search for synonyms. Developing alternate keywords and combining them in a variety of ways will give you a broader range of information and sources.

Keyword Exercise

Example research question:
Should Civil War statues be removed?

Identify the most important words in your research question and develop synonyms for them.

Civil War statues removed
War Between the States memorials demolished
Union / Confederacy sculptures destroyed

Use different combinations of the words in your table to search the Library's databases. Try it for yourself with this worksheet!

Concept Mapping

Concept mapping is a visual, non-linear way of organizing notes and ideas. It works by triggering word associations and helps you explore facets of a topic that might not be immediately apparent. It starts with a central idea or concept that grows to include all relevant and related questions.

For more information on how to make a concept map, see RISD's "Concept Mapping" Handout (pictured below). To make a concept map, use, a free website that lets you choose from a variety of flowcharts and diagrams.

College for Creative Studies website