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Writing 10 (Silbaugh)

1) AND/OR (Boolean Logic)

Use AND / OR to join search terminology.

  • OR - joins similar terms / terms that get at the same issue - BROADENS
  • AND - joins dissimilar terms - NARROWS

Examples: Using OR

  1. "artificial intelligence" OR "AIl"
  2. hydropower OR "hydroelectric energy"
  3. "internal combustion engine" OR "gas powered"

Examples: Using AND

  1. voting AND demographics
  2. "hydroelectric power" AND generation AND turbine

Examples using AND & OR

Sample Search A

"solar panel" OR "photovoltaic cell"


"power generation"

Question: What strategy might we take if Sample A returns too many results?  How could we modify this search?

Phrase Searching ""

It is common to search for a specific phrase with "quotation marks ".  Most databases will recognize the using of quotation marks to search for two works together.

Examples: " "

  • "hydroelectric power station"
  • "artificial intelligence"
  • "climate change"
  • "California's Central Valley"

Phrase searching ensures that you won't be searching for the individuals words within the phrase, which could return a lot of irrelevant results. 


Search for alternate forms of a work by truncating it and adding an asterisk *.

Examples: *

  1. hydro* > hydroelectric, hydrology, hydropower...
  2. bio* > biology, biological, bioinformatic...
  3. perform* > perform, performs, performing, performance...

Truncation BROADENS

You can use truncation to search for all suffixes on a root work. Be careful though, some complete words might be related to topics outside of your research interest.