Literacy and Reading Education: Search Tips

This research guide was created to support students in the Literacy and Reading Education masters program.

Locating Key Terms & Subject Headings

Google Tips

Site Search



site:edu bilingual education


.edu =

 educational institutions

Locates results educational institutions, such as universities. English language learners =

 CA Dept. of Ed

Locates results from the CA Department of Education website.

site:gov ELL statistics


.gov =

 government sites

Locates statistics from government websites.

Database Search Tips

Search Experience and Search Tools:

Boolean Connectors:  

bilingual education AND teaching methods

biligual education OR bilingualism AND teaching methods OR instruction OR teaching

Quotation Marks: Useful in Google Scholar, for keeping phrases together

“immersion programs”          immersion programs AND "los angeles"


Truncation *:

Teach* = teach, teacher, teachers, teaching, teachable


Thesaurus : Many database will have a “thesaurus” or “subject terms” tool for looking up descriptors and subject headings used by the database. The thesaurus tool is also helpful in browsing related terms.



PsycINFO’s Methodology limiter for “empirical studies”

ERIC’s Publication Type limiter for empirical studies is listed as “Reports-Research”

Date range; Peer-reviewed and Academic Journals limiters; Subject area limiter


Subject Headings/Descriptors: A recommended strategy is to start your search with a broad keyword search. This type of search will yield a wider variety and amount of results. You can then browse and evaluate the results to determine:

·         Evaluate the article for use:  Two-thumbs up articles; Somewhat useful ;  Not useful at all.

·         Note related subject headings/descriptors to use for your next round of research.

·         Brainstorm new angles for your research .

·         Identify gaps in your research.

·         Ask questions about your research variables.