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Writing 116 (Scheid): Search Strategies

Writing in the Natural Sciences

Phrase Searching

 

" "

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

Examples:

“sustainable agriculture”

“microbial populations”

“community college students”

“star wars the force awakens”

Boolean Operators (AND/OR)

 

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

Examples:

#1
motivation AND grades

#2
“student achievement” OR “student success”

#3
engineering
AND
women OR females
AND
“career choice”

 

Truncation

 

TRUNCATION

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

Example:

Truncate the word education agricultur* to search for agriculture, agricultural etc.

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