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Super Searching: Home

Search like a pro! Use these search tips in the library catalog and databases to save time and find more relevant sources to use in your research. And if you need help, ask a librarian.

Broaden Your Search

Use ORs and parentheses to combine synonyms or multiple topics

(oil OR petroleum OR crude)

(antibiotic OR antiviral)

(woman OR girl OR female)

 

Truncate roots of important words* to find plurals and more

perform* (searches for perform, performance, performativity, etc.)

cell$

pregnan!

 

Insert a “wild card” [*?$!] to catch words with different spellings

wom?n

coloni#ation

odo$r

 

*Truncation and wild cards work differently in different databases. Check the help section of the database to learn what symbol to use and how to properly use it.

Narrow Your Search

Combine concepts with AND to find more relevant sources

picasso AND Africa

internet AND privacy

bedrock AND Massachusetts AND hydrology

 

Use “double quotes” to find exact phrases

"rock art"

“African diaspora”

“invertible matrix”

 

Use proximity searching* to find words near each other

women NEAR violence

progressive NEAR/10 tax

"global warming" NEAR/20 "sea level"

*Proximity searching works differently in different databases.  Check the help section of the database to learn how to properly use it.