Once you have a topic, try to create a working title (thesis statement) for you paper. This will help define your expectations as you research.
ex: I'm trying to discover the conncections between deforestation in the Amazon rainforest and the effect on climate change
As a result, you have focused your searching to the keywords: deforestation, amazon rainforest, and climate change
It always pays off, in reduced time and frustration, to review the help feature in each database.
Boolean searching- AND OR and AND NOT
AND- Narrows searches; results contain both search terms (water AND pollution)
OR- Broadens searches; results contain eaither search term or both (climate change OR global warming)
AND NOT- Omits; results will not contain certain terms (atrazine NOT soil)
*note- use this option with caution as all results with "soil" will be omitted, even if it a comparison between atrazine levels in soil versus water
Truncation- usually * or $
* or $ are used to shorten (truncate) words to broaden results
Therm* will find thermal, thermic, thermistor, thermodynamics, thermometer, etc.
Wildcard- usually ? or &
? or & replaces a single letter
wom?n will find woman and women, analy?e will find analyze and analyse
*note- check out the "help" menu for each database if you don't know which symbol to use
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