Whether you're looking for books or articles, the search strategies are pretty similar, and you can start at the giant search bar in the middle of the University Libraries' homepage. This page of the guide has several ways to learn about search strategies, including text, videos, and a self-guided tutorial. Scroll down for more information!
HOW you search is perhaps more important than WHAT you search. Unlike Google and other web search engines, databases don't recognize questions, so you have to type in keywords relate to your search.
If your research question is "Does standardized testing have a negative impact on low-income students?", you might use keywords like: "standardized testing" and "low-income" and "high school students." The quotation marks tell the database which words belong together, otherwise it will search for "standardized" and 'testing" separately, instead of as one term.
Keywords represent main ideas and concepts in your research topic.
Four types of keywords (and examples) to consider:
Brainstorming keywords gives you opportunities to search multiple ways, to discover different results. You'll be amazed what outcomes a little tweak in your thinking does.
Start putting together your keywords in a smart way. Watch this video to learn more:
Develop a game plan for getting started on your research project, isolate the keywords in your research question or topic, brainstorm more keywords by searching, and combine keywords using Boolean logic.