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ENGL1020: Death (Juanita Barrett): Getting Started


Infographic reused courtesy of University of Louisville Libraries.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Write out your research question. For example: "How does exercise affect the mental health of college students?"
  2. Pull out the most important words from your research question. exercise, mental health, and college students.
  3. Think of synonyms for these keywords.  Exercise: workout, fitness. College students: university students, post-secondary students.
  4. Think of broader keywords. Mental health: well-being. Broader keywords are helpful if you aren't getting enough results.
  5. Think of narrower keywords. Mental health: anxiety. Narrower keywords are helpful if you're getting too many results.
  6. Start searching a library database with your keywords. Remember to try out different keyword combinations to get the best search results.
  7. Collect additional keywords as you search.

Death Keywords

Keywords to consider:

physician-assisted suicide

assisted suicide


medically assisted suicide

self-injurious behavior

suicidal ideation

death penalty

capital punishment

death row

stages of grief

grieving cycle


life after death/afterlife

death rituals/beliefs 

Funeral rites

religious beliefs

Cultural/anthropological beliefs

Medical errors/hospital errors

Adverse healthcare event/hospital mortality

End of life care/ Palliative Care

Terminally ill patients

serial killer(s)

Serial murder/serial murderers