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Alert: High Density Library Closure | November 24 - 26

IFP - Writing Persuasive Essays

Databases

A SECOND way to find articles is to click on the word databases, beneath the library search box. Click on a subject discipline for a list of databases specific to that subject. Click on general studies for interdisciplinary databases.

Tips

  • Don't try to search databases by typing in your full question, like you would in Google .
  • Use the database's 'advanced' search screen. Enter your key words on different lines. Use AND to combine these concepts, as in this screenshot from Academic Source Complete
  • HINT:  If you can't think of how to narrow down your search, just type in your main concept and then look at the subject terms of the records to find useful words. 

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More Tips for Successful Database Searching

• Limit your search to peer-reviewed articles, if required by your instructor

 

• DON'T limit to full-text within any particular database, since the databases are linked to find the full-text elsewhere.

 

Start your search broad

Start with fewer search terms; then add more to narrow or expand the results 

“AND”  Narrows your search -  japan AND earthquake 
“OR”   Broadens your search - nuclear power OR nuclear energy 

Find the right vocabulary by using database tools, which might include:

 - “narrowing” suggestions or ‘suggested topics’ 

 - lists of authorized ‘subject terms’ (sometimes called a thesaurus)

 • Look at the subject terms assigned to promising articles - then use those terms in a new search

 

Search the fields that will give you the most targeted results

Default search – this ‘keyword’ search is where you'll begin. 

Subject field - once you've identified authorized subject terms, search this field

Title field - can be an effective way of limiting to relevant articles, especially when vocabulary in the field is changing