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English 057 (Hakala): Search Strategies

Creating a Search

A. Boolean Operators

OR is mORe (joins similar terms)  e.g. jazz OR music

AND is less (joins dissimilar terms) e.g. identity AND sonnet

Sample Search Using both AND and OR



love OR affection

B. Quotation Marks

Use quotation marks to search for a phrase

  • "upper class"
  • "erotic body"
  • "anthem for a doomed youth"
  • "literary criticism"
  • "feminist mythology"
  • "asian american poetry"

C. Truncation

Use a symbol to look for variant endings of a word. The asterisk * is the most commonly used symbol.

  • femini* will search for feminist, feminine, feminists ... etc.

Share Research Topics

Database Functionality

D. Limiters

Take advantage of limiters (filters) in the databases.


  • Date
  • Source Type / Content Type / Document Type

E. Use UC-eLinks buttons

These are intended to make your life easier!  Use the UC-eLinks button to locate the article/book OR to Request it through Interlibrary Loan.

Also we aware of whether your are looking at a book, book chapter, or article.  This will make a difference when you decide whether or not to check Melvyl via the UCeLinks window.

F. Bibliographies / Cited By

Make use of bibliographies in books and articles and/or use Cited By functionality.  Search for a known item in Melvyl (e.g. book) or Google Scholar (e.g. article).




Article Networks

Discover how articles are connected to each other. Use this information to save time when you research.  (1:44)