Too many results?

You have done your search and come up with 1,760 results! It’s time to narrow your search.

1. Make your topic more specific by asking questions:

Who? Who is involved, who is affected? If you’re interested in poverty be more specific: poverty in single-parent families.
Where? Are you interested in data from Canada? Or can you limit it to poverty in the rural population?
When? Are you researching the last 5 years or during the 1960s?


2. Make your topic more specific by using subject headings.


3. Modify your search by adding, removing or changing your keywords:

Add in your other concepts using the AND Boolean operator when necessary. Remember that AND will narrow your search by making it more specific.

Example: drug abuse AND sports

Use a different keyword from your list of synonyms.

Example: substance abuse instead of drug abuse

Enter fewer synonyms or try a narrower term.

Example: college instead of post-secondary, teenagers instead of youth


4. Group your search terms or use exact phrases as explained in the section Create a Search Statement.


5. Use the limit options available with each database:

Type of document
Date of publication
Full-text
Scholarly or peer-reviewed journals