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When searching for information a user wants, search engines often return lots of results unintended by the user. Query expansion is a promising approach to solve this problem. In the query expansion research, one of big issues is to generate appropriate keywords representing the user's intention. This paper proposes the related word extraction algorithm (RWEA) which pays attention to the distance between sentences where keywords in the original query appear. The RWEA is based on the idea that a word nearby important words is also important. We conducted several experiments to evaluate the RWEA. The results promise the effectiveness of the RWEA for improving search results.