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History & Political Science: Searching & Writing Tips

Turabian Style & Writing Corner

Searching in Databases

Database Searching Tips:


1. When doing searches in databases for an assignment, first think about

what your topic or thesis is. 


2. Next, what are the buzz words or keywords of your topic?


                        - Make a list.

                        - Start general with general terms.

                        - Then narrow down to more specific keywords.

                        - Don't type in whole sentences; stick to

                          relevant keywords.


3. Use the Boolean Operators with your keywords to include

the results you want and filter out what you don't want. (Here's

a youtube clip of how they work)


                         - AND, OR, NOT are the 3 Boolean Operators.

                         - Find more tips on using symbols and filters HERE.

4. When you find a good article, these clues can lead you to



                          - Check the Bibliography of the article for

                            more articles.


5. Begin with reading more general articles on your topic, then

more specific ones about your thesis.


                           - You will find articles to support the

                             different aspects of your essay and thesis.


6. Lastly, there are always librarians ready to help you.

Library hours are listed here.


Handy Links

  • Call 714-966-6382
  • Stop by  a Librarian's Office
  • Submit an Ask-A-Librarian Question Form for an email reply HERE
  • Instant message             with LibChat (below)