This is the "Getting Started" page of the "Doing Research" guide.
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Doing Research  

Last Updated: Aug 23, 2011 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

Getting Started Print Page

Search Tips

A few tips to guide your searching





How do you turn your topic into a search? Look for keywords.


  • Topic: "Should marijuana be legalized?" Keywords: marijuana, law, legislation, pot, medicinal marijuan
  • Topic: "Should birth control be taught in high schools?" Keywords: birth control, condoms, high school, abstinence, sex education

Did you get too many hits? Try narrowing your search


  • Add Obama or McCain to a search for election to get fewer results.
  • In Academic Search Premier, use the options on the left menu bar to refine your search.

Did you get only a few hits? Try to broaden your search by using a synonym or removing one or more keywords.


  • Do a search for death penalty in addition to captial punishment.
  • Search for autism instead of autistic children.

Need Articles?

Not sure where to start? Try Academic Search Premier:

View our tutorial | All Databases by Title | All Databases by Subject

Do You Need General Information?

Encyclopedias offer general information on a broad range of topics. You will find specialized encyclopedias linked on the appropriate Subject Guide.

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