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- Look at the subject guide to decide if the database you are using is the correct one for your topic. If it isn’t, you may not find useful information.
- Using terms such as AND, OR, NOT (also called Boolean logic) to combine keyword or subject searches will narrow down your results to ones that are most relevant to your current topic.
- Databases have many sorting features which can do everything from providing a specific type of result, to having the full-text of an article, and even narrowing down by year or other factors. Play around with the sorting features to get better results.
- Look at the database you are about to use before beginning your search and make sure it is not limited to a specific topic or time period. For example, ProQuest Historical Newspapers will not give you current newspaper results, so this would not be a good place to look for information from the past decade or so.
- If you’re uncertain how to use the features of a specific database, look at the help screen to improve your search skills and figure out the best way to utilize the features of that particular database.
- Remember, always cite your sources! Not only will this prevent plagerism, but most databases feature some form of citation tool for you to easily cite and remember where your article was originally posted.
Gale Virtual Reference Library
EBSCO Academic E-Book Collection
Illinois Career Information System