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Communication 100

Find and evaluate scholarly research in the social sciences

Tips for Searching Databases

The following techniques can improve your searches in many article databases*

Enter phrases in quotes:  "global warming" "capital punishment" "organic food"

Use truncation symbols to search for alternate word endings: In most databases, entering ethic* searches for ethic, ethics, ethical and ethically

If one term doesn't work, try a few others. Experiment with different vocabulary related to your topic. Brainstorm ideas for relevant keywords and use background sources such as Wkipedia or CQ Researcher for suggestions.

*Note: individual  databases might have varying  conventions for how to search. Consult Help or Search Tips within databases  or ask a librarian for help  with  searching

General/Multidisciplinary Databases

The general databases listed below are a good place to begin research but they often provide limited coverage. Use subject-specific databases to find more articles on your topic.

Subject-Specific Databases

Subject-specific databases offer in-depth coverage of specific disciplines or subject areas.