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Research 101

Topics

Broader terms. What broad disciplines or subjects may address your research question?

Related terms. Synonyms and other terms that describe issues or activities that relate to your key concepts.

Narrower terms. Specific examples of your key concepts. These might be cases, events, names, places, etc.

Broadening and Narrowing Vocabulary

Earlier we discussed narrowing and broadening a research question. Vocabulary can also be broadened or narrowed to find different types of sources. This chart suggests some alternative vocabulary for the following research question:

"Should Native Americans practice religious and social customs that violate local and Federal laws? "

Key word(s)

Broader

Related

Narrower

Native Americans

Indigenous peoples, North American history

Indians, Amerinds,
North American Indians

Makah, Nez Perce,
Cherokee, Kwakiutl,
etc.

Customs

Social systems,
anthropology,

Marriage, social relations, spirituality, rites and ceremonies,
religion, culture

Lodge house(s), hunting, whaling, potlatch, etc.

Law

Criminal justice,
U.S. Constitution,
constitutional law

Legislation,
crimes,
treaty rights

Bureau of Indian Affairs,
NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act ),
cases (e.g. Kennewick Man, Neah Bay whaling)

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