Write down your topic. What are the important words that make it unique? Underline those words:
For example: If your topic was "How does the management of inventory effect a manufacturing company's cost accounting methods?" You might underline: inventory, manufacturing, and cost accounting.
For each word, think of a few synonyms that you could also search under. For example: revenue or sales for income.
Once you have completed a search, look to see what subject headings appear under articles that you like. These can clue you in to how the database talks about your subject.
For example, searching for "inventory" in Business Source Complete, you will find articles with subject headings such as "inventories" or "inventory control". You could use these new terms to search and find more articles on your topic.
Use * at the end of a word to help you search for all forms of a word (note: LexisNexis uses ! instead of * for this function). For example, if you search "account*" you would find the words: accounting, accountant, accountancy, etc.
Join synonyms with OR to get more results. For example: revenue OR sales OR income.
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