When looking for books, you still want to keep your search focused on the most important keyword or phrase.
In larger databases, you can use more keywords in your search. When reviewing your results, look more towards relevance than quantity. If you are finding sources which fit your needs, your search is going well- even if you're retrieving thousands of records! It's very, very rare to craft a search strategy that brings a small list of perfectly relevant results.
Things to try:
Multiple keywords: Affirmative action and college admissions
Try synonyms or related terms: Affirmative action and colleges; affirmative action and higher education; affirmative action and universities
Unpacking your topic: If your research question is, "How does climate change impact communities"- list out possible impacts (flooding, pest invasion, drought, etc), or look at specific communities (islands, New Orleans, Norfolk, etc.)