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Selecting a Research Topic: Choose the Right One for You! (Library Workshop)

Search tips that you can use across databases and Internet search engines

Phrase search: Use " " to keep two or more words together as a phrase

  • "toll roads"
  • "bottled water"
  • "driverless cars"

Truncation symbol *   Most databases use the asterisk ( * ) to search variation of word endings

  • phone* - phone, phones, phonetics, phonemic
  • comput* - computer, computers, computation, computational, computerized, compute, computing, computed...

Boolean Operators    Use connectors to specify your search restrictions and requirements


  • "driverless cars" AND outlawed
  • road* AND toll* AND increas*


  • "minimum wage" OR "minimum pay"
  • college* OR "higher education" OR universit*
  • SAT OR "Scholastic Assessment Test" OR "Scholastic Aptitude Test"


User Brackets for Logical Execution of Your Search Statement

(cit* OR stat* OR government) AND (pay* OR fund* OR support*) AND (stadium* Or arena*)

("county colleges" OR "community colleges") AND tuition*

("driverless car" OR "self-driving car" OR "autonomous car") AND (outlaw* OR bann*)