Remember that the library databases work best when searching for key terms and phrases rather than full sentences. Take some time to break your topic sentence or thesis statement into its key words; this will be the beginning of your list of search terms. You can expand your list by thinking of synonyms, similar phrases, and other variations of the words on your list.
Once you feel ready to begin, begin searching broadly by using two of your terms joined together by the Boolean operator AND. This should be enough to get started, and you can begin to modify your search until you're satisfied with the results. Remember: using the correct terminology helps to find quicker, and more effective results. To find the best information, make sure to implement the Boolean search terms: AND, OR, and NOT. Additionally, make use of quotation marks and asterisks to help maximize your search results!
Place quotation marks around your phrases to make sure that the search engine locates the complete phrase, and not the individual words.
will find information on all people named "John," and all people named "Smith."
will only give you results for people named "John Smith."
An asterisk acts as any combination of letters that follow the preceding word.