For this class you should have some peer-reviewed, academic journals in addition to magazine and newspaper articles. A list of General Databases is provided and a good place to start for all topics. A second list of some commonly used subject specific database is also listed on this page. A third list is devoted specifically to newspapers. There is a complete list found on the Zondervan Library page under Research Resources.
1. Start with the words that are familiar to you. If your research topic is: Should high schools have (American) football programs because of the incidences of concussions and brain damage? You could also reframe your question if needed: What is the correlation between concussion/brain damage in (American) football (not soccer). Your possible search terms might be:
Each of these terms is entered into one of the search boxes on the database search screen.
But this search may not and probably will not yield the best results. If you retrieve more than 50 items there is good reason to revise your search to obtain results closer to what you want. There is one other thing you can do to make your search more precise and useful: determine additional synonyms or related terms that more closely describe your topic. Often these are more specific subject headings and use academic language. You can add these additional terms and join them in the same line. "Brain concussion: is more precise than "concussion." Some databases will give you help in a wordlist called a thesaurus. The thesaurus gives narrower, broader and related terms that are more commonly used.
|Concussion OR "brain concussion" OR "brain damage" OR "brain trauma"|
You should know that there are three Boolean operators:
AND--each of the words or terms must be in the record, AND reduces the number of results.
OR--increases the size of the set you are searching.
NOT--excludes a particular word or concept from the search.