Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Developing Your T.O.P.I.C.
Search Tools & Tutorials
Not finding enough on your topic? Not finding anything on your topic? Are you using the best keywords and concepts to describe what you're looking for?
Brainstorming the different words and phrases used to describe your topic is one the most helpful things you can do to start your research. It gets you really thinking about your topic and the ways it can be approached.
If you're having trouble getting the storm started, try reading a few encyclopedia articles. Look for keywords in the article and the different ways it's described there. Also check out the Reference List or Works Cited for more information on topic.
Want to make your searching even better AND faster? Check out these short videos below.
How to use Boolean Operators to improve your search. (2:20)
How to use nesting to group keywords to keep your results relevant. (0:41)
Tired of trying to think of all the many ways to say the same word? Truncate it! (0:33)
Learn how to use wildcards for better searching, especially in international literature. (0:26)
Use the different fields to refine and narrow your search results. (1:05)
Use subject headings to find related items quickly and easily. (1:24)