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Capstone & Thesis Resources: Finding Articles

Choosing Databases

The database you choose will likely depend on the subject matter of your research, but here are a few suggestions that work for most topics.

For suggestions specific to your topic, visit the research guides list and look for your subject, or email You can also click here to visit the full list of databases.

Broadening & Narrowing Your Topic

If you’re not finding enough articles on your topic, you might want to make your topic a little bit more broad. Similarly, if you see too many results (or results on too many subtopics), you may want to narrow your topic down. Here are some examples of how to do that:

Narrowing your topic:

  • Look at a specific facet. For example, if you’re looking at social media try choosing one specific site.
  • Identify a specific demographic to focus on in relation to your topic. For example, adults, children, women, trans men, etc. 
  • Focus in on a subtopic within your topic. For example, if you’re looking at the death penalty, you could focus in on race or juveniles in the system.

Broadening your topic:

  • Expand the group of people you’re looking at. If you’re looking at people in their 40s, try expanding to all adults. 
  • Look at a genre instead of a specific work. For example, horror films rather than The Ring, or children's literature rather than The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Interlibrary Loan

Tips for Doing In-depth Research

The tips covered in this video include:

  • Find sources before you start writing your paper
  • Use different keywords for different aspects of your topic
  • Utilize the limiters available in the database, but also be flexible
  • Use your computers find function (with Ctrl + F, Command + F)
  • Look at the references list
  • Search in multiple databases
  • Make a research appointment with a librarian
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