Before you even start to search, it's important to narrow and refine your topic to a simple, meaningful research question or statement. Otherwise, your search results and project will be too overwhelming and unmanagable. One quick shortcut to narrowing a topic to a managable research question is to ask Who, What, Where, and When in relation to your topic.
Once you have a simple research statement, you will need to identify 2-4 keywords in your statement. Most of the time, the keywords will be nouns or verbs. For each keyword, make a list of alternate terms. These terms may be synonyms, broader or narrower concepts, or alternate spellings. When you search, try alternate keyword combinations.
1. Subject Search