Research Strategy Tips

Try a variety of search expression for your topic, including keywords and subject terms in various combinations. When you identify a relevant article, read the abstract for more key term and check the subjects and author keywords.

Be alert! As you research, continue to add relevant terms to your search:

• Consider alternative terms, abbreviations, narrower terms, broader terms and related terms.

• Use subject descriptors, database thesauri and article abstracts to identify additional terms and ideas.

• In your review of articles and websites, watch for references to research, reports and studies, which will point you to primary source documents.

Sample Search Strategies

The examples below include a variety of search expressions, with links to the database search results. Click the links to view the results, then tweak the search for other similar results.

opens new window"public speaking" AND (anxiety or stress) (in Communication & Mass Media Complete)

Do you need statistics?

When searching the Web for statistics, try limiting your results to government websites by adding site:.gov, as shown in the example below.

opens new window communication disorders children site:.gov

When searching in a database, try adding statistc*, data, percent, and similar terms to your search.

opens new window"public speaking" AND anxiety AND (percent OR statistic*) (in Communication & Mass Media Complete, Academic Search Complete, and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection)

See: opens new windowHow to Find Statistics

Boolean Operators & Search Strategies

Boolean Operators: AND, OR and NOT

Boolean Operators

Use the chart below to develop effective search expressions.

Search Strategies

More Sample Search Strategies

The examples below include a variety of search expressions, with links to the results. Click the links to view the results, then tweak a search for other similar results.

TOPIC: causes of stress with public speaking

TOPIC: women's influence and communication in the workplace

TOPIC: effect of communication on generational poverty

TOPIC: confidence and negotiation

TOPIC: successful workplace personality types

TOPIC: technology influence on children's social skills

TOPIC: parenting styles and child development

TOPIC: impact of social media on people's communication