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Education: Search Tips

Explore library resources related to education research.

Search Tips

These tips pertain to many library databases including the "Advanced Search" screen of Pirate Search.

Boolean Operators (AND / OR)

  AND OR
How it works: Search results contain both Term #1 and Term #2 Search results contain either Term #1 or Term #2 (or both)
Effects on search results: Narrows /
Fewer results
Broadens /
More results
Examples with diagrams:

Peas AND Carrots

Results = the middle area overlapped by both circles
AND diagram

Peas OR Carrots

Results = the entire area
of both circles
OR

 

Asterisks and Quotation Marks

Using an asterisk wildcard (*) at the end of a partial word will broaden search results by including multiple word endings.

When searching for a specific phrase (two or more words together), adding quotation marks around that phrase will typically narrow your search results.

For example:

  • Using child* will search for all variations of the word child, including children, children's, or childhood.
  • A search on "sexual strategies theory" -- with the quotation marks included -- will retrieve only those records containing these three words together in this exact order.

Building a Better Search

Identifying the major concepts and similar terms (synonyms) for your research topic...

Example topic: "The effects of media violence on children"

  Synonym   Synonym
Concept #1 Media OR Television OR Movies
AND Concept #2 Violence OR Aggression    
AND Concept #3 Children OR Youth OR Adolescents

 

...can help you construct a better search query, which yields better search results!

EBSCO Advanced Search screenshot

How to Spot Fake News

How to Spot Fake News infographic

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