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 "domestic violence" in quotes and then adding adolescent as an additional term. This will ensure the words "domestic violence" are next to each other when it searches the database which should result in a more focused search. The word adolescent could be found anywhere in the record.
If words are typed into the search box in a string such as domestic violence adolescent, 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.
Keep in mind that if you do use quotes, put them around terms that make sense next to each other. If you put "domestic violence adolescent" in quotes, the database needs to find those three words in a row. That's not likely to happen very often, so you've greatly reduced the effectiveness of your search. Anything in quotes needs to be found in the article record or text exactly as you typed it.
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 * after the s in immers* will search for immerse, immersed, immersion, etc. all in one search. Another example would be putting the * after the n in violen* so you could search for violent and violence in the same 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!
Since the majority of our databases that work well for your Criminal Justice/Sociology topics are indexed in our ProQuest databases, you could consider searching multiple Social Scienes databases at once using the following link: