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Fullerton College Library

A Very General Research Guide

Research @ FC Library

Database Search Tips

Start with a Broad Search of (Almost) Everything

using 1 to 2  keywords:








Four Ways to Narrow Your Results

1)   term  AND  term 

ADD A TERM that will narrow your focus
 in the second search box






Search: [ happiness ] AND [ gratitude ] will produce results, such as this academic journal article:

Relationship between Gratitude and Happiness in College Students
Subjects: College students; Happiness; Gratitude; Youth--Social conditions

Note both the words happiness and gratitude occur in the title and subjects.

2)  "PHRASE"

Place QUOTATION MARKS around PHRASES to search for terms in a particular order.



Search: [ mindful meditation ] will produce results, such as this interview:

Mindful Healing: An Interview with Herbert Benson
Abstract: ... famous for connecting meditation and the healing process.
Note: mindful does not occur next to meditation.

Search: [ "mindful meditation" ] will produce results, such as this academic journal article:

Mindful Meditation for Addiction Disorders
Keywords: addiction; mindful meditation; therapeutic value
Note: mindful meditation occurs in the source description together, as a phrase.

3)  SU Subject Terms | Ti Title

Search for terms in a SPECIFIC FIELD instead of the entire record.






Search: [ happiness ] in [ SU Subject Terms ] AND [ "well being" ] will produce results, such as this print book:

The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being / William Davies
Subjects: Well-being -- Social aspects; Well-being -- Political aspects; Happiness -- Social aspects
Note: the phrase "well being" occurs in the subject field of the source description, so you are ensured the book is about well-being.

4)  Limiters

Use database LIMITERS to narrow results: by date, source type, subject, or content provider (specific databases).

Search: [ happiness ] AND [ gratitude ]
Limiters: Publication Date: 1824 

Produce results, such as this letter published in Niles' Weekly Register on March 6, 1824:
La Fayette 
Subjects: Letters; Gratitude; Happiness

Three Ways to Expand Your Results

1) *
search for a term and variant endings of that term by replacing the ending with * [Shift+8] 

happ* will search for happy, happiness, happier, etc.
thank* will search for thanks, thankful, thanksgiving, etc.






Search: [ happiness ] AND [ "well being" ]  produces results, such as:
Does a Culture of Happiness Increase Rumination over Failure?
Subjects: Happiness; Rumination (Cognitive Process); Well Being; Adulthood

Search: [ happ*] AND [ "well being" ]
Happy Temperament? Four Types of Stimulation Control Linked to Four Types of Subjective Well-Being
Subjects: Temperament; Brain stimulation; Subjective well-being (Psychology)

2)  OR

add SIMILAR or RELATED terms connected with the OR command






Search: [ happ* ] AND [ gratitude OR thank* ]    produces results, such as:
Role of Gratitude, Personality, and Psychological Well-Being in Happiness among Young Adults
Subjects: Gratitude; Personality; Well-being; Happiness; Young adults

Grateful Head: Scientists are Discovering That as We Age, Our Brains Get Better at Feeling Thankful (a Key Element of Happiness)
Subjects: Brain -- Forecasts and trends; Scientists -- Forecasts and trends

You can also click on Show More under Limit To and select EXPANDERS
Apply related words & Apply equivalent subjects





Search: [ happiness ] AND [ gratitude ]
Add Expanders: Apply related words & Apply equivalent subjects
Increases results from  1,453 to 1,601

3)  All Text

search ALL TEXT instead of keyword searching the item record






Search: [ happ* ] in [ Select a Field ] AND [ "loving kindness meditation'' ] in [ Select a Field ]
Results: 32 

Search: [ happ* ] in [ Select a Field ] AND [ "loving kindness meditation'' ] in [ TX All Text ]
Results: 220

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