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Writing 101 (Silbaugh)

Writing Discipline: Psychology

Operators in Google

OR (used between terms), Google will look for both.

Phrase searching ("x"), Google will return results having the exact phrase.

MInus sign (-), the minus sign before a word will exclude it from your search results. 

site:x, (ex. "positive psychology" site:edu) the site operator will search a specific domain for the terms that you specify. 

filetype:suffix (ex. happiness bibliography filetype:pdf) will search for the terms happiness bibliography and only return those pages that end in pdf. 

Some things to remember:

  • Google assumes AND between terms.
  • Synonym searching is always on. 
  • Word order matters.
  • Parentheses don't matter.

Sources in Google

Google can be a great way to find things not typically in the library's databases. This can include:

Interviews or podcasts (YouTube) - Your searching might bring you to an interview, video or podcast featuring a prominent researcher related to your topic. These sources could be helpful in building foundational knowledge and becoming more familiar with your topic. 

Social media posts - Individuals posting on social media can, at times, be anonymous. However, many individuals work to create a credible online identity. This may be the opportunity to observe and join a conversation full researchers or those working in the field you are investigating.

News articles - Google News can help find news articles across a wide range of publications.  

Personal/Department Websites - Many prominent figures have their own websites which can lead you to more of their work. For instance, if you're researching social psychology, you might track down Sapna Cheryan's site (University of Washington) to learn more about her work.

Professional Associations or Societies - Professional organizations will often have some information about the history of the field the represent and may be a good place to do some pre-research. Someone interested in dentistry might look at to the American Dental Association for background information on that profession.