Use keywords and synonyms:
Start by taking keywords directly from your thesis statement.
Think of synonyms and related concepts for the keywords in your question. WRITE THEM DOWN.
Ex. college OR university
Ex. global warming OR climate change
Ex. marijuana OR cannabis
Look at the subject terms in the articles you find and see if you can use any of those.
You can broaden your search results by typing an asterisk symbol * at the end of the root of a word. When you do this, the database will search for alternative endings for the word you have typed.
For example, perm* yields results for:
permit permitted permissible
legal* legalize(d) legality legalization
Narrow your topic:
As you start reading about your topic, you should start thinking of questions you want to answer with your research.
It would be best to start by asking general questions about your topic.
Your questions should include the “Who, What, Where, When, How, and Whys” of a topic, such as:
What is _________?
Where does it take place?
Who is affected by _____________?
As you read more about your topic, your questions should get more specific.
What are the causes of ________________?
What are the effects of ________________?
What are the “pro” arguments about_______________?
What are the “con” arguments about ______________?
What should be done about ______________?
These questions will help guide you as you complete your research and form the content of your speech.
Broad topic: Mental illness
Narrowed topic: personality disorders
Research question: Is borderline personality disorder more prevalent in women than men?
Each of these sources has its own strengths and weaknesses.