1. Start by identifying the major concepts, themes, works, or authors that you want to research. These are your keywords. Only type your keywords into the search box- don't try to type in an entire thesis statement or research question.
2. Most of the time, you'll either have too many search results to sort through, or too few to choose from. Use the following tips to expand or limit your search results as needed. These tips should work in most library databases. Some databases have additional or different tips you can try. When you're in a database, look for a link labeled "Help" or "Search Help" for information specific to that database.