- Use the List of KEYWORDS you came up with while brainstorming.
- Keep searches SIMPLE. Don’t include words like a, an, the, in, etc.
- Use CONNECTORS, like AND and OR to combine terms in your search:
AND= fewer results: Alcohol abuse AND students
OR= more results (use for expanding to find similar terms): Alcohol OR Drugs
NOT= Allows you to eliminate unwanted terms: Alcohol abuse NOT drug
- Use TRUNCATION (usually * or ? – check “help” to see which one to use) the root of a word to expand a search.
Alcohol* = Alcohol, Alcoholic, Alcoholism, etc.
- Be FLEXIBLE. If one search doesn’t work, try using some of your other keywords. Find additional keywords in articles that you have found and use those.