Page 6 - ResearchKnowitAll

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Your search results will be only as good as your search strategies. Keywords are a
good start.
To supersize your search, use Boolean Search Operators. These simple words can make the difference
between an OK search and a powerful search. The three magic words are AND, OR, and NOT.
1. Put
AND
between any two key words to find information that contains both of the terms. For example,
animal AND ocean will help you find articles that contain both of the words animal and ocean. You can
combine several words together, such as animal AND ocean AND garbage. Your number of results will
be smaller.
animal
AND
ocean
2. Put
OR
between any two search terms to find information that uses either one of the terms. You can
use OR to combine synonyms of a word. For example, trash OR garbage finds results that contain
either word. OR can also be used when words have different spellings, such as rainforest OR “rain
forest”. Your number of results will be bigger.
trash
OR
garbage
3. Put
NOT
in front of a search term that you do not want to find. For example, if you are
searching for information on the city of Atlantis, you will find that there is much information
about the space shuttle Atlantis. Try searching for Atlantis NOT shuttle. This will find articles
that use the word Atlantis, but not the word shuttle. Your number of results will be smaller.
Atlantis
NOT
shuttle
You may combine
AND
,
OR
, and
NOT
in the same search. For example,
searching for (Inuit
OR
Eskimo)
AND
culture will find results on Arctic
Native American traditions and way of life.
Search Strategies
Tip: Putting quotation marks around words that go together or phrases adds more
strength to your search. It is also best to use a singular form of a word than the plural.