1. Use AND to look for two terms as the same time: musical AND criticism--will locate resources containing both terms.
2. Use OR to search for closely related terms: Gender OR Woman will loof 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, nationhoo, and nationalism!).
4.Use quotes when looking for a phrase: "musical theatre" or "american musical theatre"
5. Before searching, make a general lists of synonyms for your search terms that you can substitute if the first ones do not get you results. For example, if you are looking up musical theatre try musical.
6. For most databases, start with a simple search, using one or two 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.