You have ran your search and come up with 1,760 results! It’s time to narrow your search. Here are a few strategies to do so.
1. Make your topic more specific by asking questions.
- Who? Who is involved, who is affected? If you’re interested in poverty, try being more specific: poverty in single-parent families.
- Where? Are you interested in data from Canada? Or can you limit it to poverty in the rural population?
- When? Are you researching the last 5 years or during the 1960s?
2. Make your topic more specific by using subject headings.
Subject headings can help you find relevant sources and explore specific aspects of a subject.
3. Modify your search by adding, removing or changing your keywords.
- Add in your other concepts using the AND Boolean operator when necessary. Remember that AND will narrow your search by making it more specific.
Example: drug abuse AND sports
- Use a different keyword from your list of synonyms.
Example: substance abuse instead of drug abuse
- Enter fewer synonyms or try a narrower term.
Example: college instead of post-secondary, teenagers instead of youth
4. Group your search terms or use exact phrases.
Try the strategies outlined on the page Create a Search Statement.
5.Use the limit options available with each database.
- Type of document
- Date of publication
- Scholarly or peer-reviewed journals