The search terms or keywords you use to search are what determine the results you get. Here's a good exercise to help you generate keywords:
1. Express your topic in a topic sentence or research question: “What is the effect of television violence on children?”
2. Generate keyword search terms by identifying the main ideas or concepts within that topic sentence: “What is the effect of television violence on children?” = Television, Violence, Children. Leave out the small, common words that would be found in hundreds of irrelevant articles, e.g. What, Is, The, Effect, Of, On. Choose keywords that represent the main ideas of your topic.
3. Expand your search terms by brainstorming related terms or synonyms that describe your main ideas:
You can create complex search strategies by combining keywords using the linking words AND, OR and NOT. For example, if your search terms are mathematics AND curriculum:
The search box on the library's main page allows users to search for books, DVDs, videos, academic journals, magazines, newspapers, scholarly articles and more from one search box. If you're trying to access a book or article you already know about, you can enter the title or author's name here. If you're looking to find material about a specific topic, try entering two or three keywords that are likely to appear in discussions of that topic.
I'm getting too many results!
|I'm getting too few results!||
|These results are not what I'm looking for!||
From your list of results, use the "Refine Your Results" panel to narrow your search by publication date, source type, publisher, language and more.
You can add special symbols called "wildcards" to a search term in order to receive more results. Often times this is used if a you're not familiar with a spelling, a word has multiple spellings, or you're trying to recall specific information. Different search tools, databases, and database providers utilize different wildcard characters, but the asterisk or "star" (*) is one of the most commonly used.
Truncation allows you to search various forms of a word by finding alternate endings. The wildcard character is placed at the end of the first few letters of a search term or at the end of its root. A root is the base or most simplified form of a word.
For example, using the search terms "Indian*" may find information containing "Indian, Indians, Indiana, Indianapolis"
Each database or database provider utilizes different wildcard characters and may have restrictions such as searching no less than 3 letters to achieve results.