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- Plan ahead. Searching for journal articles takes time, so start early and plan to spend a few hours searching.
- Start broad, then narrow it. It can be easier to pick a broad topic when first starting, and then narrow the topic as you delve into the research. If you start too narrow, you run the risk of not finding anything on your chosen topic.
- Be prepared to change your topic. Not everything has been studied, so you might not find articles written about your topic. Be prepared to refine your topic or to change your topic altogether.
- Look at the works cited. When you find an article that works well for your project, check the list of sources cited by the authors. Maybe you can use some of them too!
- When in doubt, Google it. If you're having a hard time finding articles in the databases, try searching Google Scholar. While you might not find articles you can use, it's a great way to figure out what keywords to use, what authors to search for, and/or what journals to search.
Reading a Journal Article