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Scholarly Research Tutorial: 2. Searching in Databases

Wondering where to start finding sources for a paper? Not sure where to go beyond Google? Start here for a quick tutorial in effective research methods for scholarly papers.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of Module #2, students will be able to:

  • choose an appropriate article database for their research needs;
  • explain the difference between keyword searching and subject searching; and
  • use search techniques like truncation, Boolean operators, or limiters to narrow search results.

Databases = Not Terrifying

Remember this?


You have a topic (history of theme parks in the United States) and a basic understanding of types of information and the tools to find them.  The next challenge is picking a tool, but you can't select the right tool until you know more about databases.

Does the word "database" make you feel like this?


Never fear --  this section of the tutorial will demystify databases.  You will be able to:

  • Define "database" and select the right one
  • Select strong keywords to type into the search box
  • Use powerful tips and tricks to improve your search results.

Get psyched: you're about to gain access to stuff you could NEVER find in Google.