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Find and evaluate information for your research projects.

growing up research

Step 1: Brainstorm Search Terms

Brainstorm keywords and phrases that could be used as search terms to help you find information. Are there synonyms or alternate phrases that might be helpful? Example:



emerging adult

young adult


early adulthood

transition to adulthood

conception of adulthood

coming of age


adult development

psychological aspects

psychological maturity



emotional intelligence

intellectual maturity

impulse control


Step 2: Browse Topic in Academic Search Complete

Use the Academic Search Complete advanced search to break your search into keywords and concepts such as "emerging adult" and "psychology."

  • Practice click restraint. Browse your topic by scanning titles and subject terms in the results for additional keywords to add to your list. 

  • Change your search terms and see how your results change. Highlight the most useful terms on your worksheet!


Step 3: Find Articles

  • Once you've refined your search terms, find the most relevant articles by narrowing your database results by type of article, date, full-text, and more. 

  • You can also try searching in a subject-specific database. Some recommendations are listed below, or you can view the full list of databases by subject using the link below. 

Psychology & Sociology Databases

Science & Health Databases

Pro/Con & Current Event Databases

Legal Databases

Background & Encyclopedia Articles

Choosing Keywords