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EDF 301w

Education specific databases

It can be easier to find education related articles by going directly to a database that focuses on education issues. Below are some of our "best bets" for education research.

Using keywords to search

Try to break-up  your topic into keywords that get to the heart of what you are searching for. For instance, you might be intersted in exploring the question of:

  • What is the meaning and importance of public education in the United States?

Your keywords might be public education, U.S. and meaning/importance

Make a list of the keywords you identified while focusing your topic and find synonyms for your search terms. You can also use these terms to define the scope, for instance with public education are you interested in higher education? K-12? Preschool?

  • MAIN IDEA: public education
  • RELATED TERMS or SYNONYMS: elementary school; K-12; primary school; high school; middle school
  • MAIN IDEA: U.S.
  • RELATED TERMS or SYNONYMS: United States; America
  • MAIN IDEA: Meaning
  • RELATED TERMS or SYNONYMS: Importance; value; investment; philosophy

Putting keywords into your search

Now that you have figured out some terms to search, you can start plugging them into the search box by combining them in different ways. This will help you discover new articles and figure out the best combination of terms to find the articles that you need.

You can also search them all at once using boolean operators.  By putting an OR between your synonyms you tell the search engine to find any of those words. You can then combine all of your keywords by using AND. So using our list of keywords above your search might look like this in ERIC: