Use this tool to help you brainstorm and generate keywords. Then, use your keywords to search IUCAT, the library catalog, or one of two interdisciplinary databases, Academic Search Premier (EBSCO) or ProQuest Central.
Some instructors may require you to email your keywords to them, so be sure to do that on the final screen before conducting your search.
Before you start entering any search terms, spend a few minutes trying to think of as many relevant terms and combinations of terms as you can. This will help you to avoid getting stuck in a rut with the first terms that come to mind. For example, if your question is, "how can the Black Student Union increase membership? and I only search on the concept "Black Student Union," I will miss out on relevant articles that use the broader term "student organizations."
If you need help in coming up with terms, you may want to try the "Thesaurus" or "Subject Headings" features in the database you've chosen.
Check out the "Help" or "Search Tips" to learn some of the search features specific to that database. Most databases provide similar features, but the methods may vary. Some common tricks:
Try the databases' Advanced Search feature, which usually gives you the ability to search multiple fields (author, title, keyword, subject, etc) with one search and may offer additional ways to expand or limit your search.
If your first search strategy does not work, try another approach. Use the links below to find additional help:
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