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Accounting & Finance Research Guide: Search Tips & Strategies

A research guide for accounting and finance subjects and courses

Brainstorming Keywords

Research questions guide the research process, but they don't work well in search systems in their sentence form. Instead, we use the main ideas from the research question to formulate keywords for searching.

And sometimes, those keywords need to be adjusted to find more relevant sources. Synonyms, narrower related terms, and broader related terms can all be used to adjust searches. It's often helpful to brainstorm these related words and phrases before beginning your search, so that you immediately have other words to use.

Here's a table that may help you with this brainstorming process.

Keyword Synonyms Broader Terms Narrower Terms Related Terms
financial statement financial report statement, data, report balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, profit and loss financial condition, GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles)

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