Article databases, online library catalogs, and many popular search engines share several general searching techniques. Once you master these common searching techniques, you will save time and find more relevant results.
You can create complex search strategies by combining keywords using the linking words AND, OR and NOT. For example, if your search terms are mathematics and curriculum:
The search terms or keywords you use to search are what determine the results you get. Here's a good exercise to help you generate keywords:
Express your topic in a topic sentence: “What is the effect of television violence on children?”
2. Generate keyword search terms by identifying the main ideas or concepts within that topic sentence: “What is the effect of television violence on children?” = Effect; Television, Violence, or Television violence; and Children
3. Expand your search terms by brainstorming related terms or synonyms that describe your main ideas:
Access to full-text library resources from off-campus is easy!
Search as you normally do, click on the link to full-text, log in with your Pitt email login and password, and you're good to go for your entire searching session! Access will work best if you stay in the same browser.