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Spark 001 - Theatre and Community (Brokaw): Search Tips

Searching is...

exploration, inquiry, discovery, curiosity, serendipity

Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT)

Boolean operators such as AND (narrows) and OR (broadens) are used to join search terms together.

Use OR to broaden your search. For example, if you search advertising OR commercials, you will find articles that include both terms.

Boolean - OR

 

In contrast, use AND and NOT to narrow your search. For example, if you search advertising AND commercials, you will only find articles that include both terms.

Boolean - AND

And, if you search advertising NOT commercials, you will find articles that include the word advertising except for those that also include the term commercials. In Google, use a minus sign instead of NOT (e.g. advertising -commercials).

Boolean - NOT

Quotation Marks

Quotation Marks are used to search for a specific phrase. They limit or narrow your search.

  • "social justice"
  • "The Laramie Project"
  • "Luiz Valdez"

Truncation

Truncation allows a search engine to look for variant endings of a word. Use a symbol (* is the most common) at the end of a truncated word. Truncation broadens or expands your search.

  • perform* will search for perform, performs, performance, performers, etc.
  • colleg* finds college, collegium, collegial
  • politic* will search for politic, politics, political, politicly, etc.

Some databases also allow you to use a symbol at the beginning or in the middle of a word

  • col*r will search for color or colour
  • *politic will search overpolitic, prepolitic, pseudopolitic, etc.

Mash them Up

You can use multiple search strategies simultaneously.

Example:

"midsummer night's dream"

AND

power*

AND

gender OR sex

Question 1

What search search strategies are used?  Are they used logically?

Research Question:  How is social class presented in community theatre plays?

"social class"

AND

"community theatre"

Question 2

What search search strategies are used?  Are they used logically?

Research Question: How can staging reflect issues of colonialism in theatre?

"staging" OR "blocking" OR choreography

AND

plays

Question 3

What search search strategies are used?  Are they used logically?

Research Question: How can community theatre companies avoid shutting out the voices of underrepresented people?

"community theatre"

AND

represent*

AND

people