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Use a truncation symbol (the asterisk * is the most common) to look for different word endings.
- educat* = education, educator, educated, etc.
- colleg* = college, colleges, etc.
You do have to be careful with truncation. Sometimes you might get unexpected results.
- minor*= minor, minors, minority, minorities, etc.
Use quotation marks to search for a phrase (two words or more).
- “college students”
- “mental health”
- “generalized anxiety disorder”
AND & OR
Use AND to join dissimilar terms. It helps narrow your search.
- "college students" AND stress
Use OR to join similar terms. It helps broaden your search.
- “college students” OR undergraduates
Use AND and OR together, too.
- (“college students” OR undergraduates) AND stress
Note: When inputting your search in one line, the parentheses keep the like terms together. Putting your search in one line makes it a bit easier to copy and paste between databases.
Online Research: Tips for Effective Search Strategies