Typing in a whole sentence for a search ususally doesn't get good results because the database is trying to match the whole thing - it's best to try to pull the main ideas out of what you are trying to search for - keywords.
All databases (including Google) use a keyword search to return results. (Library databases are also organized by Subject, but start with keywords.)
This online tool can help you create useful keywords from your topic sentence.
These one-page guides will also help you develop search keywords that will get results:
AND - use this when ALL the words must be in your results. This will narrow your results. Example: apples AND oranges; peanut butter AND jelly
OR - use this to connect synonyms, when ANY can come back in your results. This will broaden a search. Example: women OR woman OR girl; cat OR kitty OR kitten
NOT - use with caution since this will eliminate results with the specified word.
|Scholarly Articles||Popular Articles|
|Authorship||Scholars/experts in a field. Authors are always named and their institutional affiliation is given.||Staff writers or journalists.|
|Publisher||University presses, professional associations, research organizations.||For profit corporations.|
|Review||Peer review process by other experts in the field of study.||Fact-checker and/or editor.|
|Audience||Researchers, scholars, other experts.||General public.|
|Content/Length||Usually longer, focusing on a research study, or a review of research literature in a field.||Often shorter, with a more general focus.|
|Language||Technical, discipline specific terminology.||Written for a general reader with easier vocabulary.|
|Sources||Cited in a bibliography adhering to a specific citation style (MLA, APA, etc.)||Usually not cited, and when they are, are not generally standardized.|
|Structure||Usually includes: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, and bibliography.||Specific formats are not followed.|
|Scholarly Journal||Popular Magazine|
In addition to preventing plagiarism, citations serve another key role in the research process. They help to provide a longitudinal look at a research topic, providing connections to prior research that the author of an article (or other types of resources) used and to research that came after. Some databases such as Google Scholar and Criminal Justice Abstracts provide tools that can help you "explode" the article you are looking at to related articles. The tools are:
In the library's databases look for:
In Google Scholar look for: