#1 - Identify the main ideas in your research question or thesis statement to be tested.
#2 - Jot down similar, related, broader, and narrower terms for the main ideas.
#3 - Apply search terms using the advanced search option (the link is under the basic search box).
Click through the slides below for examples:
|NARROW results||BROADEN results|
Adding new concepts with AND connector
[ food waste ] AND [ consumer education ]
Adding similar or related concepts with OR connector
[ recycling OR reusing ]
Search for terms in SUBJECT or TITLE
[ food industrial waste ] in [ SU Subject Terms ]
Search for terms in ALL TEXT
[ "centralized composting" ] in [ TX All Text ]
Search for multiple words as a phrase with " "
Search for all variant endings of a word with the * symbol
recycl* searches for: recycle, recycled, recycling
Apply database limiters to group results by a particular:
SOURCE or PUBLICATION TYPE
SUBJECT (what article is about)
DELETE a search term to widen focus
[ composting ] instead of [ centralized composting ]
Replace a search term with a BROADER term
[ social media ] instead of [ facebook ]
If you are starting your research with a general topic instead of a specific question, consider narrowing your focus by one or more of the following:
Examples for the topic: mental health
Possible search terms and similar terms:
Applied in an advanced search:
Note: brackets represent search bars
[ mental health or depression or anxiety ]
AND [ discrimination or prejudice ]
AND [ lgbtq ]