1. Use AND to look for two terms at the same time: Woolf AND criticism--will locate resources containing both terms.
2. Use OR to search for closely related terms: Gender OR Woman will look for both, but they do not have to be present in the same resource (this gives you more options)
3. Use * in or at the end of a word that may vary: Instead of woman use wom*n (this will include woman and women) or nation* (which would look up national, nationality, nationhood, and nationalism!).
4.Use quotes when looking for a phrase: "women writers" or "national identity"
5. Before searching, make a general list of synonyms for your search terms that you can substitute if the first ones do not get you results.
6. For most databases, start with a simple search, using 2 or 3 terms.
7 "Don't invent the wheel if someone hands you the keys to a Porshe!"--Rely on the subject headings from an indexed article or the bibliography or work cited page from an article or book to find other sources.