Search Tips

1. Keywords, Broader terms, Narrower terms

Use a variety of keywords to describe your topic. If you begin your research by using reference materials such as encyclopedias, you will often run across vocabulary to describe your topic that you may not have thought of on your own. Use this worksheet to help you brainstorm: http://bit.ly/co150-research-topic "

  • global warming" OR "climate change"  - items in quotes are searched as phrases
  • alternative fuel OR ethanol OR hydrogen OR carbon dioxide OR emissions
You should remove all "stop words" from your search. Stop words include articles, prepositions, or essentially any word that is not a crucial, meaningful word. Examples: a, an, the, in, on, of, are, be, into, which, about, that, etc.
 
2. Use quotation marks for phrase searching
  • "war on drugs"
  • "interpersonal relationship*"
  • "climate change"
3. Use truncation to get the database to search for a root word plus any possible endings
  • flood*  flood, floods, flooded, flooding
  • econom* → economy, economic, economical
  • psycholog* psychology, psychological, psychologist
4. Use AND, OR, and NOT to combine your search terms
  • (television OR TV) AND (women OR female*)
  • "war on drugs" AND Mexico AND United States
  • dolphins NOT football
Need more help?

Searching Effectively using AND, OR, and NOT

Advanced Boolean

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Librarian

Kristy Nowak's picture
Kristy Nowak
Contact:
Office: 153 Morgan Library
Phone: (970) 491-1578
E-mail: kristy.nowak@colostate.edu

Find my office hours calendar here: http://libguides.colostate.edu/kristynowak

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