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10 Tips for Searching
- Search with keywords, don't use full sentences or questions
- Separate keywords by AND (therapy AND children AND anxiety)
- Pick one keyword for each concept in your topic and include each in a separate search box
- Don't include small words (like if, the, at)
- In individual databases, include synonyms separated by OR (teen OR adolescent)
- Put phrases in quotation marks ("high school")
- If you're not getting enough results, try new keywords.
- Check or click on "peer reviewed" if you need scholarly journal articles
- Unless you need an article immediately, don't check "full text"
- Limit results by date if you need current articles
Using OR to do an advanced search
In an individual education database, you can use OR to include similar/synonym keywords in the same search box to increase the number of results you receive. Please note, OR does not currently work well in Search@CULibraries, and searches are more effective when only one keyword concept is included in each search box.
("third grade" OR "grade 3") AND comprehension AND ("informational texts" OR nonfiction OR textbook)
Select the main concepts in your topic to use as your key concepts. Then brainstorm synonyms, broader and narrower terms, and related terms.
Example 1: What is the effect of using technology to teach math to first grade students?
Example 2: How do you increase third graders’ comprehension of informational texts?
| key concepts
|| broader terms
|| narrower terms
|| related terms
The tutorial below provides more examples.
Brainstorming Keywords: Tutorial. Running time: 2 minutes.