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Wellesley College Research Guides

CHEM 308 - Natural Products: In Class Activities Session

1. Consultations

Click the button below to make an appointment with me to chat about finding sources or citing them.

2. Searching

It is helpful to strategize your search before you start searching. 

This worksheet can help you think about your topic, develop a research question, and brainstorm possible search terms. 

 Image of a search strategy worksheet on the affect of microplastic on turles

Search Tips:

When searching in a database, spelling matters! 

  • Unlike search engines, a database will not correct your typos and spelling mistakes. 

  • If you get zero results, first check that you spelled your keywords correctly.

Use quotation marks for phrase searching

  • If you are searching for multiple words or a phrase, like cell membrane, put those words within a set of quotation marks in the search box. 

  • If you search cell membrane, instead of "cell membrane" most databases will search cell and membrane as separate keywords

Use truncation to search for various endingsimage of the 3 Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT

  • aka “wildcards” - often a * at the end of a word (check the database)

  • Use in place of letters - environ* for environment, environmental, environmentalist, etc.

Other factors:

  • Plural and singular nouns usually do not matter. 

  • Capitalization usually does not matter. 

  • Spaces between letters or words might matter. 

  • Especially in acronyms or the names of medication or viruses or molecules or organisms

  • Bowerbird vs “Bower Bird” both are valid terms and return results in databases

3. Searching a database

4.Tips on how to read scholarly articles


Image from Western Oregon University Hamersly Library showing examples and definitions of primary, secondary and teritiary sources



Citation Managers @ Wellesley

Wellesley supports EndNote and Zotero, which are programs that will help you organize your references and create bibliographies in hundreds of citation styles (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, etc.). Both can be downloaded to your computer, or used in website versions. To learn more about these tools, consult our guides below:

zotero logo longform

Endnote logo

Flipped Resources for after the Library session