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Writing Your Research Papers

Top 6 Search Tips

Keywords not working?

Find synonyms (similar words):

Thesaurus.com

Wikipedia

Read subject headings or abstracts of the things you do find – what words are they using?
 

Too many results?

Try AND:  combines different terms when both must be present..

Suicide AND Adolescents

Suicide AND Adolescents AND Prevention

Not enough results?

Use OR: combines terms when at least one must be present. 

Teenager OR youth OR adolescent

Mick Jagger OR Rolling Stones

theater OR theatre
 

Getting the wrong results?

Use NOT (or – sign in Google): Eliminates terms from a search

Apple NOT fruit (-fruit)

Java NOT coffee (-coffee)

Looking for a phrase?

Add quotation marks

“song lyrics”

“title of book/song/article/movie”

“First and Last Name”

“popular quote”  
 

Wildcard

Add an asterisk (*) to look for all endings for the root of a word

Educat* looks for:

Educator

Educators

Education

Educational

Choose Your Search Terms

Find Articles Faster: Boolean AND, OR, NOT

Boolean Operator Examples Results
AND
Boolean AND

children
AND
poverty

AND combines different terms when both must be present. Use AND to narrow a search.
OR
Boolean OR

teenagers
OR
adolescents

OR combines terms when at least one must be present. Use OR to broaden a search.
NOT
Boolean NOT

java
NOT
coffee

NOT eliminates terms from a search. Use NOT when
you want to exclude all records that contain a certain term.