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ENG 1000 Introduction to Academic Writing - Spring 2022

General research guide for ENG 1000

Searching a database is different than typing your question into Google.

You need to be precise in your language and communicate using the language of the database.
You can learn to be an expert searcher with these strategies. 

Use the Advanced Search

Use the advanced search feature to form a smarter search. Separating out your concepts helps the database understand what you mean.

Using advanced search also makes it easier to set other requirements for your research, like the date range during which it was published or what type of material it is.

The button for advanced search will look different on each database platform, but it's worth finding it. 

Search Tips

Keywords

Identify keywords for your topic and brainstorm narrower, broader, and related terms.

Example: Factors that affect academic performance in first-generation college students.

Academic Performance College First-Generation Students
Student Success Higher Education Children of Immigrants
Student Achievement University Minority Students
Learning Outcomes Community College Nontraditional Students

 

Boolean Operators

Typing the Boolean Operators AND, OR, and NOT into the library catalog or databases allow you to broaden or narrow your results.

Peanut butter AND jelly, only results with both terms; Peanut butter OR jelly, results with either or both terms; Peanut butter NOT jelly, results with peanut butter only, excludes results with jelly and with both terms.

 

Found too many results?

Add more keywords.

Adding additional keywords to your search can help to further narrow your topic.

Example: college AND first-generation students AND academic performance

 

Found too few results?

Use OR.

Broaden your search by using OR to link your terms.

Example: (college OR higher education OR university) AND first-generation students AND (academic performance OR student success)

 

Need more help?

Check out this Guide to the Research Process or ask a librarian.

You can contact a librarian through chat, text, phone, or submitting a question.

You can also schedule an appointment with a librarian in Academic Support Net and meet via Zoom or in person.

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Library Information

Information & Research Help

630-844-5437 (phone)

630-844-3848 (fax)

630-796-7615 (text)

Interlibrary Loan

630-844-5439

Phillips Library

347 S. Gladstone Ave.

Aurora, Illinois

60506-4892


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