1. Use Simple Terms
Use short, simple words or phrases. Don't type in your entire topic as one sentence.
EXAMPLE: If you're writing about "the importance of peer relationships in the developmental stage of middle childhood," search only the key words/phrases: peer relationships and development and childhood.
2. Use Search Symbols (Boolean)
or = expand your search by including different forms of a word. EXAMPLES: Stocks or bonds. Cats or felines.
" " = search for a specific phrase. EXAMPLE: "World War Two"
* = add 1-5 characters to the end of a word. EXAMPLES: Panda* finds panda and pandas. Inter* finds internal and internet.
3. Start Broad
If you get too many results, you can always narrow your search terms later.