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Quick Answers: Add Topics & Keywords

Add topics & keywords

Once the question and answer are complete, it is time to add topics and keywords.  This is the first step in the publishing process.  

Before we move on, a word about Topics and Keywords.  In Quick Answers, topics are used to organize answers.  You can filter answers in a search by topic, and can use topics to create widgets.  Users can see all answers associated with a Topic by clicking the Topic link in the answer.

Keywords are used by the search algorithm to find answers.  They are not used to organize answers and are never seen by the end user.

Add the topics

Before the answer is published, topics must be assigned. 


There are two types of topics: department names and subjects. 

  • Department name: the department that owns that answer
  • Subject: topics that describe the content


To add a topic

  1. From the Select Topics to Add drop-down list, select the department name.
  2. Click Add.
  3. Select the appropriate topics to describe the content and click Add.  Continue until all needed topics are added. There is no limit to the number of topics that can be added to an answer.

Note: Topics are pre-determined and cannot be created on the FAQ page. They are created by the system administrators only.

Add the keywords

The keywords associate your question to whatever the student types in the Quick Answer's search box. These are the terms that help trigger the pop-up on the QA search boxes.  



While the search algorithm also searches the answer's full text and title, good keywords are vital to good search results.

Think about what the student may type when asking about your topic.  Include

  • synonyms,
  • words or phrases from assignments, policies, or common tasks
  • frequently misspelled words.  

There is no limit to the number of keywords you can use.  According to Springshare, any words in the question itself are automatically added to the pop-up search, but you should still include any pertinent keywords, even if they show up in the question itself, as this increases the weight of that word in the search.


To add keywords:

1.  Enter the keyword in the Add Keyword box.  

If the keyword is already in the system, it will appear in a list.  You are not limited to keywords already in the system; use whatever keywords are needed.

2.  Click Add.

3.  Repeat until you have added all desired keywords.

Next Steps

Once the topics and keywords are added, move on to Publish the Answer.