This example illustrates two important search tools -- Keywords and Synonyms.
When you look at the research question in the example, note that three words are in bold. These are the most critical important or distinguishing words in your research question.
Do NOT enter the whole research question. Unlike a Google search, a journal article database cannot sort through all the words in your research question, and the results will vary in terms of relevance to your search query (or you will get no results). Rather, pull important terms or concepts from your question.
When you search a keyword, the database is looking ONLY for that word in that form. So when you search for "college," that word is all that the database will return. If the author used another word, like "colleges" or "university" instead of "college" you will not see results with those words. That is why synonyms are important.
Modified from Rachel Arteaga, CSU Chico: http://libguides.csuchico.edu/c.php?g=462359&p=3160695
There are several strategies for identifying search terms. First, think about the topic in a general sense. Most of your groups deal with recruiting volunteers for nonprofit organizations. What kind of search terms can be associated with that? Try a combination of different search terms:
You'll also need to generate a list of search terms related to your individual group topic (differentiation, alumni, mentors, etc.). Sometimes it can help to organize the main ideas of your topic into a concept map. You can find some concept mapping tools below. Using a concept map is a good way to see how different parts of your research topic fit together.