Searching databases is different than searching in Google. For good results in a database, you have to distil what you are looking for into a few key terms or phrases, rather than whole sentences. You also have to think of various ways to say those key terms, because different writers will refer to the same concept in different ways. To turn your topic into keywords or search terms, use this tool, or:
Write down your topic (ex. female college students with eating disorders)
Underline the main concepts (ex. Female college students with eating disorders)
For each main concept, brainstorm a few synonyms and related terms that get at that concept:
Female college students
Use Boolean operators (named for mathematician George Boole) to narrow, broaden, or refine your search.
Try searching with different groupings and keyword combinations.
(college females OR young adults) AND (eating disorders OR bulimia OR anorexia)
(children OR adolescents) AND violence AND (television NOT video games)
Truncation and Wildcards
Use an * at the end of a word to search for all forms of that word.
educat* will return results for education, educator, educated, educating;etc.
environment* will also return results for environmentalism and environmentalist
An * can also be used to replace a character in a word.
wom*n will search for women and woman
Where's the Article?
If you don’t see a .pdf of the article you want, click to find it in another database or in print in the Libraries.
If it is only in print in the Libraries or we don’t own the article, click to have the article emailed to you. This option will take a few days.