Take advantage of the truncation symbol * -- the asterisk used at the end of a word tells the search engine you want all forms of that word.
For example, putting the * at the end of parent* will search for parent, parents, parenting all in one search.
This will result in a larger search result set...so if your search is already too big, this isn't a great tool to use. On the other hand, if you're not sure you're getting a good glimpse at all of the articles you should be, then doing a truncation search can help you see more!
Use search tips such as putting "quotation marks" around words you want kept together in your search. The databases will look for each word separately unless you tell them you want them searched as a phrase.
For example, you might try putting in the terms "parenting behavior" in quotes and then adding Hmong as an additional term. This will ensure the words "parenting behavior" are next to each other when it searches the database which should result in a more focused search.
If words are typed into the search box in a string such as Hmong parenting behavior, the database would look for those words anywhere in the record. This is not always a poor option, but sometimes putting quotation marks around the terms helps narrow the search.
If you do use quotes, put them around terms that make sense next to each other. If you put "Hispanic parent style" in quotes, the database needs to find those three words in a row. That's not likely to happen considering we wouldn't write "Hispanic parent style," although we might say "Hispanic parenting style."
Always take a few seconds to note the Subjects used on articles you like. These can be great terms to use to start another search or to try in another database. For example, if you typed the words Vietnamese parents in a search box and you found a fantastic article, you'd want to note that the subject terms used for that article are "Asian American" and "Parents & Parenting" and you could use those Subject terms to search.