Research work aims to serve the well-being of mankind. Imagine, what will happen when the man would not understand your research. Of course, it will decrease the worth of a scientific work despite its uniqueness and originality. For solving the problem and decreasing the complexity of scientific research, the researcher must define the important key terms used in a study. To further highlight the importance of the key terms and techniques to write them, this article comes with some guidelines. Moreover, the understanding of the key terms writing becomes easier with the help of some examples.

Why Is It Important To Define The Key Terms Used In Any Research Study?

While attempting an academic task, the definition of the key terms is an important aspect. The definition of key terms in research and other academic works is important due to many reasons. The foremost reason is the fact that people use different words/phrases in different contexts. To put it in another way, sometimes, a particular term has a different meaning in different disciplines. So without defining what a term actually means in our study or in which aspect you are using a specific term, definitions are of paramount importance. The key terms’ definitions in one way make a study more understandable and, in another way, help in decreasing the confusion.

Moreover, the lack of proper definitions creates confusion, as witnessed in some philosophical debates. A common philosophical debate argues on fact that whether words describe the concept or the concept describes the words. Without focusing on this debate, we highlight that the words defined are common in either case. This explains that the definition of a word or concept is equally important for any study.  And that is how a researcher should always define the important key terms in a research.

Another underlying objective for defining key terms is that definitions reshapes with time. This is also a well-noted reason for not using the older body of research in a recent study. Moreover, key terms’ definitions also help readers in moving with the emerging trend in different disciplines. Different disciplines tend to create sublanguage of specific terms in order to define field-specific concepts. In many cases, other subjects also use such terminologies, but in an entirely different meaning. In the light of these facts, the researchers are advised to define the important key terms.

Consequently, if you define the important key terms in a study, you will improve the clarity and engagement. It will not irritate the readers by consulting the dictionary again and again. Moreover, it will also help in reducing the complexity of the document. By reading the important key terms definition section, one can read even complex phenomena in a relatively shorter period. However, in case of any issue, there are dissertation writing services to get help from.

How Do You Write Key Terms In Research?

The key terms are words that explain the crux of a study. It helps in making your research work more searchable. It allows you to get more citations. Hence, it is most important for the researcher to identify and write the important keywords in research. The following are a few ways that you may consider while writing important key terms:

  1. The simplest way to identify the key terms in research is to locate the words that may confuse the readers. You can add hysteric on the term and define what it states at the end (or in footnotes).
  2. Think about the reader that what he must write to retrieve your work. This will help you in identifying or writing all important key terms in a study.
  3. The key terms may contain 2-4 words to rank high in the search engine. The key terms containing a single term is also acceptable, but it may often lead to many false results.
  4. The key terms should suggest the central idea or theme of the paper. To put it in another way, the key terms should be narrow instead of being generic. For example, if you are writing a scientific paper on the ‘arteriosclerosis causing factors’, instead of using this generic key term, the paper can be titled by stating the role of specific factors (MMP) on arteriosclerosis. This key term is more close to the research aims. Here we just replaced the term factor with MMP. Thus, now one can even reach your findings by only typing MMP as well.

As a big picture, writing the keywords is not a difficult task. By remembering the above mentioned tips, one can easily write the keywords/ key terms for research. The only thing left behind regarding the key term writing is how many terms one needs to select for a study. The number of the key terms recommended by most of the generals is 3-8. But you can increase and decrease its number depending upon the complexity of your research.

What Are Examples Of Key Terms?

As the key terms are the words or concepts that are necessary to define in research work, therefore, special efforts are required to write or define them. There is a trick that not always works, but most of the time works well. That is, make the research variables your key terms. This trick works well when a research has well-defined variables. Another way to select the key terms is to choose important nouns involved in a study. Let us understand these concepts with an example illustration.

Example # 1

Suppose your research paper aims to describe the role of the nerve guidance conduit that supports axonal growth after peripheral nerve injuries. Then what will be the key terms for this research paper?

According to an approach that suggests using the variable, the effective key terms are Peripheral nerve injury (PNI), Axonal Growth and Nerve Guidance Conduits (NGC). Hence, by searching any of these terms, one can retrieve your work.

Example # 2

Similarly, suppose your research paper aims to describe the similarities in the auditory pattern of Asian elephants and humans with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). According to the approach to pick the nouns, important key terms include auditory pattern, Asian elephants, humans, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

You can notice that in all examples, the important key terms indicate the in-depth nature of the research paper. This is how the important key terms writing works for a research paper. I hope you find these guidelines informative. Best of luck!