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Writing 118 (Maharaj): Databases: Search Strategies

Management Communication

Database Selection

Spreadsheet - Tab 2

Determine what disciplines related to your research proposal.  Identify major databases in those disciplines using the library's A-Z Database Listing.

Phrase Searching


" "

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


“student engagement”

“adolescent development”

“antibiotic resistant bacteria”

“star wars the force awakens”

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


music AND "adolescent development"

treatment OR therapy

women OR females
“career choice”





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


Truncate the word education educat* to search for educate, educates, education, educational etc.

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