This is the "Research Tips" page of the "ENGL-1152 : Research Skills" guide.
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ENGL-1152 : Research Skills  

Last Updated: May 23, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Limit Your Results in EBSCO

When using EBSCO databases, you'll normally want to limit your searches to full text.  You can also limit to scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals, among other options.


References are your friend!

When you find a research article that has good information related to your topic, check the end of the article for the references that the author(s) used.  These can lead you to other valuable sources of information, and make your research a lot easier!



Wikipedia can be a good source for your personal use, but it should never be cited in any academic work.  Why?  Because as an open-source encyclopedia, it can be edited by anyone and can contain unverified information.  So how can you use information found in Wikipedia?  Most well-written Wikipedia entries have extensive reference pages, so if you can verify the information using the original source, you can cite that source in your research.


Search strategies

Use Boolean search commands to enhance your search:

  • AND: combine terms with AND to narrow your search.  Combining terms with "AND" will produce fewer results, but will be more focused.
  • OR: combine terms with OR to expand your search.  Works best with synonyms (dog OR canine, cat OR feline, etc.) but can be used to combine any two or more keywords.
  • NOT (AND NOT):  Use NOT/AND NOT to exclude terms from your search.  Many search engines recognize the dash/minus (-) as NOT.

Other techniques:

  • Put quotes around your search to find keywords/phrases in the exact order in which they are entered (e.g. "techniques for deer management")
  • Use an asterisk to indicate truncation.  This allows you to find various forms of a root word. For example, hunt* would find hunts, hunted, hunting, etc.


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