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Writing 10 (Hothem): Search Strategies

Phrase Searching


" "

To search for specific phrases, enclose them in quotation marks. The database will search for those words together in that order.


“health insurance”

“meat industry”

"child labor"

“community college students”

“star wars the force awakens”

Boolean Operators (AND/OR)



Join together search terms in a logical manner.

AND - narrows searches, used to join dissimilar terms
OR - broadens searches, used to join similar terms


motivation AND grades

“student achievement” OR “student success”

household OR domestic
“food waste” OR "food loss"





Truncate a word in order to search for different forms of the same word. Many database use the asterisk * as the truncation symbol.


Truncate the word education consum* to search for consume, consumes, consumer, consumers etc.

Add the truncation symbol to the word transfer* to search for transfer, transfers, transferable, transferring etc.