First, try a simple keyword search such as Civil War. Keyword searches produce a large amount of results. This type of search is broad and less precise. Fortunately, most online catalogs and databases have features to help you refine your search terms. Refinement features may include author, year, format, content, audience, or sub-topics.
Creating a search strategy:
Next, try Boolean searching. This type of searching allows you to combine keywords using operators AND, OR, and NOT.
To narrow your results use AND with two or more concepts. Example: Civil War and Reconstruction
To broaden your search use OR with synonymous or related words.Example: Civil War Or War Between the States
Sometimes one of your search terms may produce a list of results that includes articles that are not relevant to your topic. Using the operator NOT eliminates words from your search and reduces the number of results. Example: Civil War NOT England. The word England will be excluded from the search.
Full-text Databases: refers to electronic resources with access to the complete text of articles in journals, books, newspapers, theses, dissertations, and more..illustrations, graphs, charts, and images may be included.