Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Ask A Librarian HoursLibrary CatalogArticle Databases RESEARCH SERVICESHELPINFORMATION FOR...

ENG 350 - O'Malley: Search Strategies

  Tips for Upper-level Students


 

  • Problem: you are using all of the advanced search options, but you're not finding enough results.
  • Solution: It's better to start wide/general and then use options and filters to narrow your search results.

    


 

  • Problem: there are several ways to construct your search. 
  • SolutionAlways write down any synonyms for your search terms and simply try combinations of those terms.
    • The author of a publication may be using a certain term or jargon, while you are searching for another one. Example: "punch drunk syndrome" versus "CTE" or "Chronic traumatic encephalopathy"
    • It is important to try several searches with similar terms because databases might not automatically understand it.
    • Use Advanced Search option Boolean operator "or" to expand your search:

Combining similar or related terms with the boolean operator "or" will result in more search results.


 

  • Problem: you only have so much time to do research!
  • Solution: look for Help options within the databases that can increase the efficiency of your search

Screenshot

screenshot                   


 

  • Problem: You have done several different searches, and now you've lost track of what you've looked for and what you haven't.
  • Related: you forgot to save an article that now you think may be useful, and you're having trouble finding it again. 
  • Solution: look for options like "Search History." Or, create database accounts and be dilligent about logging in and saving articles. 

Using EbscoHost's search history function will allow you to view the search terms and subsequent search results for your session.

     Arrow

Example of EbscoHost search history

Use the examples below for help within specific databases


 

Academic Search (EBSCOHost)

Ebsco Host icon

Main search page  Search Options, Apply Equivalent Subjects + Apply Related Words + Also Search Within Full text of articles

Screenshot

Project MUSE

Project MUSE icon

From main search box, enter search term(s)  from search results page, left side options  scroll down to Research Area, select all that apply

Screenshot

Credo Reference

Credo Icon

Credo Advanced Search  Limit Your Search Results to... Select Subjects or Titles

Screenshot

Summon

Summon search icon

Summon Advanced Search  Content Type & Discipline filters

Screenshot