Searching effectively just means knowing how to construct a good search string that will bring you relevant results in an efficient way. This just means more good results with less time spent searching.
The best way to achieve this is to use your keywords and terms and connectors. All databases use boolean operators and terms and connectors that can maximise your searching. These can usually be found under 'search help' on the database, but the basics are universal:
AND - combines two concepts / keywords on either side of the word, and returns only results with both concepts in it
OR - looks for either of the two concepts / keywords in the results
NOT - excludes a concept / keyword from the search
Terms and connectors:
" " - using these indicates a phrase, and looks for the two words next to each other eg. "cotton controversy"
/s; /p; /n - these are proximity searches for words, either within the same sentence, the same paragraph, or within a specific number
These combine searches into one search. For example: regulations of the cotton or oil industry can be constructed into the following search string:
regulations AND (cotton OR oil)
For more assistance, consult the video below.