Use "" to search terms as an exact phrase: "reality television"
Combine terms using AND to narrow your results: "reality television" AND qualitative
Combine terms using OR to expand your results: study OR research. You may also wish to do this within one field using ( ) : (study OR research)
Add * to the root of a word to retrieve different spelling variations: method* nabs both method and methods
Some databases provide default results even if some of your search terms are not found
Check the box for limiting results to scholarly or peer reviewed items; this will help limit your results to useful resources
Search terms as subject headings to make your results more precise. Use the thesaurus to see if your term is a subject heading. Some databases call subject headings descripters.
What's your topic? You may need to also try searching in databases geared toward psychology, sociology, marketing, business....etc.
The Journal/Newspaper Titles is a tool to quickly determine if/where you can find full text of a particular journal title. For example, if you know you want to look for articles within Mass Communication and Society, key in the aforementioned journal title to see which databases, if any, contain full text and the years available. If Penfield has a direct e-subscription there will be a link to that, or if we own the journal in hard copy a link to the catalog will display.
Notice drop-down arrow to right of search field after you have done a search - this will pop up the Advance Search options which can be helpful