Consider using a Concept Map to brainstorm your topic and a Research Strategy Worksheet to help organize your strategy.
My topic is: community colleges and their budgets
Think about your topic and think of synonyms. How will your topic be described in the literature?
Community college, two year college, junior college, ?
Budget, finance, ?
Use " " around phrases: "community college"
Use * with words that can have variable endings: budget* to include budget, budgets, budgeting
Search in databases such as ERIC, Education Source and Educational Administration Abstracts to start.
You can search them all at one time. Duplicates are removed!!
Use Advanced Search. It provides multiple search fields. Input the search strategy.
Review what you've found. Searching is iterative and can be nonlinear.
Getting the Full-Text
What other disciplines are interested in your topic?
Review the item's bibliography for additional leads. (This strategy provides older relevant works.)
Discover who has cited relevant articles or books. (This strategy provides newer relevant works.)