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English 105 CIPHER Sapigao

Recommended Databases

Database Search Tips

Plan Your Search Strategy

Identify the main concepts of your topic. Make a list of synonyms/similar words and related terms for each concept. These are the keywords you will later type into OneSearch or another library database. 


What is the effect of being a Hip Hop music fan in the development of a young woman's self esteem and confidence?

Concept 1

Concept 2 Concept 3

Hip Hop

teenage girls



young women


West Coast Hip Hop

adolescent female



Then decide which concepts or keywords you will search in what combination.


Think about your search limits. Do you want to limit your search to current materials or do you need a historical view? Are you looking for scholarly or popular resources? What are the requirements of the assignment?  What search tool will help you find the resources you need?


Combine Keywords/Concepts

Searching databases requires a little more search structure than our average  Google Search.

Always try more than one search!

You can combine your keywords using AND, OR & NOT 

For more about structuring your searches in databases using AND, OR, & NOT (what librarians call Boolean Logic), watch the following videos:



Search Tips

  • When AND is between two words, your search results will be limited to sources that contain both words.
    • For example:  Hip Hop AND Feminism

  •   OR expands your search since either word can appear in your search results.
    • For example teenage girls OR  young women

  • NOT excludes information, so it  removes the word that appears after NOT from all your search results 
    • For example:  Social Meida NOT Facebook 


  • Use quotations (know as "phrase searching") to limit the search results.  The words in quotation marks will be searched as an exact phrase
    • For example: "Media Bias"

  • Use an asterisk* for alternate word endings,
    • For example: teach* will pull results containing teaching, teach, teacher, etc.