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Educational Psychology & Counseling

Search Tips

When searching databases, the goal is to find a small number (e.g. 10-30) of articles relevant to your topic. Here are some tips for improving your search results:

Most databases allow you to choose a date range, so you can limit the search to recently-published articles only.
Most allow you to choose English articles only, which can further reduce your results.
Many also allow you to limit your results to peer-reviewed journals, which contain high-quality scholarly articles.
In keyword searching, a truncation symbol (usually " * ") expands your search by including various forms of a root word, e.g. memor* which will retrieve:

Memor* =

  • memorize
  • memorized
  • memorizer
  • memorizes
  • memorizing
  • memory, etc.

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