When you see a search box, it can be tempting just copy/paste your research topic into the box but OneSearch and other databases do not work like Google.
The first this you want to do is select 'Advanced Search' on whatever database you're using.
Advanced search will:
Separate your search terms, don't use sentences.
Boolean Operators sound intimidating but they're just a tool that you can use when plugging in your keywords/search terms. When you select 'Advanced Search' on OneSearch, one of the drop-down menus will have the words AND, OR, and NOT as options.
What do they do? Think of the search bar as a mathematical equation. AND, OR, and NOT are the +, -, = of your mathematical equation.
Let's say you want to focus on children for your topic, but you know that there are different forms of that word that would work to find resources that you want. After learning about AND you may be tempted to do this: children AND child AND childs.
But you don't need to do that thanks to truncation!
Truncation is expressed with an asterisk (*) so if you want the database to give you results with multiple forms of a word use put an asterisk where the words are the same, or at the root of the word.
So for many forms of children, you would search for child*.
One of the first snags you might encounter is when you're selecting what keywords you try using to find resources.
When you're doing research on a topic, the words you use to describe something can change depending on the context. There can be subject-specific ways to express an idea or a concept.
Ask yourself, is there another way I can say this? Is there specialized language that I should try?
If you get stuck, try using a thesaurus.
You've tried a bunch of different keywords and you're getting either too many results, not enough, or maybe even no results!
It's possible that the keywords you're using are either too broad or too specific. Consider adding or removing keywords.
If you're getting too many results, here are different ways you can narrow down your topic. Think of:
You might do all the above things and still not get results that you find useful. Just know: