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Information Literacy Tutorial: 4. Refining Your Search

Refining Your Search - Learning Objectives

Finding Too Many Sources?

  • Add keywords to your search strategy: Include more keywords to narrow your search. Also, look over your research question-- it could be too broad.
  • Use limiters when possible: Apply limits to your search. Common limiters include year, publication format, subject and language.

Not Finding Enough Sources?


NOTE: If your professor has stated to *only* use peer-reviewed articles, follow his/her instructions-- or ask him/her about it!

  • Try new keywords: Look over the sources that you have found and see if you notice particular words or phrases.
  • Remove a keyword from your search: This will broaden your search.
  • Look at bibliographies of relevant sources: If the sources listed are not at Cal State LA, you may be able to get them through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).
  • Use Subject Headings: When you find a relevant source, look at the subject headings. If one stands out, click on it!

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John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8300