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Identify the keywords of your topic and use those as your search words.
Each book and article has tags assigned to it, words or shorts phrases that make each book or article searchable - you want your search words to match those tags.
Example: The topic you've chosen for your Jared Diamond assignment is: How did economics accelerate the collapse of the Soviet Empire? A search for articles about this topic could be economics collapseSoviet Empire
2. I have too many results. How do I find what I need for my assignment?
Use the options in the Refine Your Search sidebar to narrow down your results so they're more relevant to your assignment needs.
You can limit your search results to:
peer-reviewed or scholarly articles
content type, such as journal articles, books, newspapers, or magazines
subject terms, to help you focus your topic
publication date, so you get the most recent research
language, such as just English articles
Example: For your Jared Diamond assignment, you are supposed to use at least 3 peer-reviewed books or journal articles.
Under Refine Your Search, check the box beside Limit to articles from peer-reviewed publications and check the boxes beside Books/ebooks and Journal Article under Content Type.
3. I can't find anything on my topic. What do I do?
The search words you're using to describe your topic may not match the tags that have been assigned to books and articles on that topic. Try different search words that mean the same thing.
There may not be research tying your main ideas together yet. Try searching for your main ideas separately and linking their findings together.
If you've found one article that's relevant for your topic, look through the sources in its References list to see if any of them are also relevant to your research.