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International Student Guide: Finding & Evaluating Sources Tutorials

Information about how to access reading, entertainment, and research materials such as online periodicals, books, DVD movies, and full-text eBooks about your home country.

Library Tutorials

Improving Your Results

How can I improve my search?

If you got too few results try one or more of these tips:

  • Use an OR with synonyms to broaden your search

  • Consult a thesaurus or index for more search terms

  • Reduce the number of concepts

  • Use more general terms

  • Use truncation to get variations or alternate spellings of your term

  • Use the broadest search possible (usually Keywords in most databases)

  • Check your spelling

  • Check to see if you used AND and OR properly

  • Check to see if you are using the best database for your topic

If you get too many results try one or more of these tips:

  • Use an AND to narrow your search

  • Use more precise terms

  • Use subject headings instead of Keywords

  • Consult a thesaurus or index for more narrower terms

  • Remove truncation

  • Search in a specific field, such as the Subject or Title field, instead of searching Keywords

  • Use limits such as language, years or document type.

Primary and Secondary Sources

Scholarly vs. Popular Resources

Keyword Searching

Subject Term Searching

Google Advanced Search

For certain complex searches, you might want more control over the results that you see. Try the Advanced Search page  to see options for making your searches more precise and getting more useful results.

Keywords vs Subject Headings

Wikipedia

What is Wikipedia? Why don't instructors like you to use it as a resource? Watch this brief video to find out.

Library of Congress Call Numbers Tutorial

Most academic libraries use the Library of Congress call number system.

View this tutorial to learn more about Library of Congress call numbers.