Search tips:

Start with one or two terms and then add terms to narrow your results.

Some databases will provide a "Get it! Cornell" link to find the full-text. In other cases, you may need to search the catalog for either the book title or the journal and the year/volume/issue in which an article appears. No luck? Ask a Librarian! We're happy to help.

Try searching your case name, e.g. "Smith v. Maryland" for articles about the case and the issues surrounding the case.

Research is iterative

Start with some of the key words and phrases of your research question.

Read through some of the articles you find, looking for additional ideas and key words that can be used to search again. Are there specific issues to pursue further? Different key words or concepts you might search?

Note: Some database records will also provide subject heading or descriptor terms to help narrow or broaden your search. Keep an eye out for these! They can also be extremely useful.

Test your knowledge!

Which search narrows your results?
"social media" and privacy and "court cases": 16 votes (69.57%)
social media and privacy: 7 votes (30.43%)
Total Votes: 23

Selected Databases

Final thoughts

Just like the catalog, databases allow you to combine keywords and phrases, search variant terms (this term OR that term) and truncate words. Most entries will also include subject headings or "descriptor terms" to help you further refine your search.


Each time you add a term, you are narrowing your search. The articles you find would have to include all of the terms.
If you're not finding what you want, try taking out a few terms. This will broaden the search.