Search Techniques

Searching is a combination of using specific words and techniques to narrow and expand your results to find the information you are looking for.

Brainstorming Keywords

Let's say you are doing a paper on stress in teens. These words are a good place to start your search, but in the results you will see other terms such as adolescent, youth, college students. You can then use these in your search. Try it for your own research: on a piece of paper or file, recreate this mini-worksheet and fill it in with your search terms. Intro to Library Research Search Terms Form Image2

Use AND and OR to build your search

These are some techniques to help search efficiency and get the more relevant results. Use "AND" to narrow your search Example: teen AND drug abuse Use "OR" to search for synonyms Example (adolescent OR teen)
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Use Limits

Click on the words typically linked on the left of your search tool’s results screen to limit by material type, subject, date, etc.
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Searching involves using keywords, or search terms, and combining those terms to find information. It also involves using limits built into the search tools themselves and thinking of alternative search terms. It takes a few tries to get the best results. Build on your searches, take something away, add another term, repeat!
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