Start by asking a good research question. If you are too broad, you will get too many results. If you are too narrow, you may not get enough results. It takes lots of practice to become a good searcher!
DEFINE your topic as completely as possible.
Define what you are looking for, why you are looking for it, and what you are NOT looking for.
Keep combining your keywords to find the combination that gives you the best results. For example, if you’re a recipe for peanut butter cookies, type peanut butter cookie recipe nto the search box. If you are looking for a gluten-free cookie recipe, type gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipe. If you want an organic recipe, type gluten-free organic peanut butter cookie recipe.
If you want to find the exact words or phrase, use quotation marks. For example, "organic gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipe" and the search will look for the EXACT words or phrase in the EXACT order you type them. Square brackets work like quotation marks, [organic gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipe].
LIMIT your search.
Using a minus sign ( “peanut butter” recipe –cookie ) will exclude words or phrases. The minus sign has to be directly before the word or phrase with no spaces. Use advanced search limiters like site type and file type (site:senate.gov filetype:pdf "dear").