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Writing 100-14 (Ruiz, Spring 2024)

Search Tips

#1 Phrase searching " ", use quotation marks to search for a phrase (NARROWS)

  • e.g. "written communication", "literature review", "writing a literature review"

#2 AND to join different terms/concepts  (NARROWS); OR to join similar terms/concepts (BROADENS)

  • e.g. "technical writing" AND engineer*
  • e.g. "science writing" OR "writing in the sciences"

#3 Use truncation * to look for variations of a word (BROADENS)

  • e.g. engineer* = engineer, engineers, engineering etc.
  • e.g. intelligen* = intelligent, intelligence, intelligences

#4 Use specific fields in a database. (NARROWS)

  • e.g. limit to a Title field
  • e.g. limit to Abstract field

How Should I Search in a Database?

Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), Ronald Williams Library, 1:27

  1. What do you enter into the library database search box to start looking for information?
  2. What are some ways you can limit your results?
  3. How do you break down your research question?
  4. What Boolean operator narrows your search?
  5. What Boolean operator expands your search?
  6. What Boolean operator blocks topics in your search?