Put phrases "in quotes".
Use OR to combine synonyms:
Use AND to combine main ideas of your topic/question.
Truncate (with *) to get all variations of a search term
Change important search terms to Subjects for narrower and more relevant results
Start with the Title and the Abstract (or summary) of the article.
Then scan the Subject Headings to learn what the article’s focus areas are.
Notice if the type of article matches what you need; don’t get fooled by a book review or editorial.
See if you have access to the full-text of your chosen article, possibly in another database
This tutorial will offer students some ways to make their searching more efficient and productive.
This tutorial provides an excellent explanation of databases and why they're useful. It was created by the librarians at Yavapai College.