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Writing 10 (Contreras): Search Strategies

College Reading & Composition

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

social media

Search String Activity

  • Using the information from your white sheet of paper and what you have learned about quotations, truncation, and Boolean operators, create a search string. Here is an example of a search string for my research question:

("social media" or Facebook or "online social network*") AND privacy AND "facial recognition"

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


Facebook AND privacy

“social media” OR Snapchat OR "online social networks"

("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.