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Writing 10 (Sandoval)

College Reading & Composition

Video: Three Search Strategies

If you want to review search strategies, this video covers three which you can apply in your database searches. (3:04).

Phrase Searching


" "

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


facial recognition

internet security

“online dating”

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


1. Use OR to broaden your search. For example, if you search social media OR Snapchat, you will find articles that include either of these terms.

“social media” OR Snapchat

2. Use AND to narrow your search. For example, if you search Facebook AND privacy, you will only find articles that include both terms. 

Facebook AND privacy

3. You can also use AND and OR together. For example, the search below will find articles that refer to either the phrase "social media" or Facebook but that also refer to the phrase "facial recognition."

("social media" OR Facebook)
“facial recognition”




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


Add the truncation symbol to the word network* to search for network, networks, networking, etc.

You do have to be careful with truncation. If you add the truncation symbol to the word minor*, the database will search for minor, minors, minority, minorities, etc.