Defining the QuestionUsing Thesaurus Terms

A thesaurus is a hierarchical arrangement of subject terms in a research database. For most thesauri, each term within the hierarchy displays the following terms ( see the example on right):

  • Broader, more general term(s)
  • Narrower, more specific term(s)
  • Related thesaurus term(s)
  • Synonym(s) used for the thesaurus term

Thesaurus Term with Broader, Narrower, Related, & Synonym Terms

A thesaurus helps to identify additional and frequently more appropriate terms you can use for your research paper. When you enter a word or phrase that is not found in the thesaurus, the database may suggest appropriate thesaurus terms. From the list of suggested thesaurus terms, you may select a single term or multiple terms.