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PSC 520: Research Methods and Design: Example Topic / Search Term Generation

This guide is in support of the University of South Alabama's PSC 520 class.

Example Topic / Search Term Generation

Example topic: How does undocumented immigrant labor affect wages in the United States?

Use different combinations of keywords and related terms to find additional information. Try to use one term from each row to avoid leaving out relevant concepts.


Related terms


alien, illegal, “worker visa”


immigration, migrant, 


worker, work, employment, occupation, business


pay, salary, income

“United States”

America; more specific: California, “Gulf Coast” 

Identifying Keywords and Search Terms