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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons

ENL 314: Writing in the Workplace

Search Makeover: "Working Mothers" and the Pandemic

  • The Problem:
    • I am not satisfied with the results of my MasterFile Premier search for "working mothers" and the COVID-19 Pandemic. 
    • Although the search was executed well, I only found two articles!
    • Though the scholarly databases provided great articles, they seem too academic for my needs. 
    • I'm looking for articles that talk about real people and tell their stories of how they are coping with balancing work, motherhood, and the pandemic.
  • Strategy A:
    • Try other key words from the titles of the articles we did find:
      • "working mothers" or "working  moms"
      • coping or surviving
    • Be persistent in scrolling through new search results to find an article you like
    • Click on the subject headings in an article to link to similar articles
    • For example: 

  • Strategy B:
    • Execute a "Field Search."
      • Change the drop-down menu to the right of the search terms to "Abstract." This will bring up articles with these terms in the abstract.
      • This increases the relevancy of your search.
  • Strategy C:

Search Makeover Examples

  • Changed to Gale General One File.
  • Though I only got one hit, I got many "cross references" from this one hit.
  • Notice that the hits include news articles and press releases. 
  • Looking at these articles, I find that a major issue for working women and the pandemic is child care:

Revising My MasterFile Search to Include "Child Care"

  • As a result of changing my search to "working mothers" and "childcare" and "pandemic," I find good articles.
  • Childcare is the root of many women's employment struggles during the pandemic.