From the main search page search by Keyword, or limit your search to Title, Author, or Subject.
Choose for more search options.
After entering your search term(s) you will probably get many results. Look at the categories listed on the left side of the page. They can help you narrow your search if needed.
As an example, let's say your interested in film adaptations of Jane Austen's novel, Emma. First, you'd want to identify adaptations. The Wikipedia article provides a list of adaptations for film and television.
Next, you might decide which of these adaptations most interests you. Let's say you find the loose adaptation of Emma as the 1995 teen drama-comedy Clueless of particular interest because of its place as an early example of the High School movie genre, and how the satire of that genre intersects with Austen's genre: the Novel/comedy of Manners. Both reconstruct detailed, social worlds that explore relationships, gendered spaces, wealth, masculinity, and female empowerment. You decide that your research will focus on depictions of gender in the high school movie genre.
Now its time to generate some keywords (see Search Strategies for more on developing keywords):
Clueless, Emma, High School movie, Comedy of Manners, Novel of Manners, gendered space, female empowerment, masculinity.
A good database to begin using these keywords is the Film & Literature Index with Full Text.
You can start by searching for a few of your keywords using Boolean Operators (more on that in the Search Strategies page). For example, let's try "Clueless" AND "Emma":
This reveals some promising articles that compare Austen's works with the film Clueless. However, since this is a film writing class, your paper should focus more on aspects of a film. So try searching for "Clueless" AND "Masculinity" AND "High School movie"
Number 3 looks like a possible source for your paper, so you click on the record:
From the record, you can pull further subject terms to use in a search. You can click on those subject terms to perform a search in the database for each term if you wish. You can also read the abstract to determine if it might be relevant before getting the PDF (which you can do by clicking the IU-Link button on the left side of the page). On the right, you can use the tools to save this item to a folder, pull a citation, or generate a permanent link to this record.
A few good databases to get you started.
From Yavapai College Library.
Records in library databases are made of "fields." Fields can help narrow your search.
Improving Search Results with Fields
Adapted from SAIS Library, Johns Hopkins Univ. "Database Search Tips" Guide
Subject Terms can help you identify effective keywords. Most databases list Subjects in their search results.
To use subject terms from you search results:
1. Do an initial search.
2. Under Refine Search click on Subject.