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A Guide to the Research Process



Example Search



“Peanut Butter” AND Jelly

Narrowed. Items with both terms “peanut butter” and “jelly” will come up.


“Peanut Butter” OR Jelly

Widened. Items with either “Peanut Butter” or Jelly


Peanut NOT Butter

This will result in items containing “peanut” NOT “peanut butter”

Database Searching Worksheet

Use this worksheet as a guideline as you are beginning your research

Narrowing your Results

A good rule of thumb is that a successful database search will result in no more than 200 articles. If you have thousands of results, use the following strategies to help narrow your search.

1. Use AND to combine different keywords and concepts.

2. Use the "Select a Field" drop box to limit your results. For example, if you only want articles that have the word "cyberbullying" in the title, you would do the following search:

After you review your results, you can narrow them further by using the limiters on the left side of the page. For example, if you only want scholalry articles, then you can check the box for Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals.


3. Use the Subject Terms limiting option to narrow your results to specific terms. For example, by checking the "United States" box, I narrowed my results to only those articles that deal with cyberbullying in the United States.


Search Strategies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Exercise