The Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT are often used to combine keywords when searching research databases. Use of these operators can make your search more focused, thus yielding more precise search results. But before using the operators, it's necessary to understand how they actually work.
Keep in mind that the connectors AND and NOT generally limit your search (decreases the number of hits) and the connector OR expands it (increases the number of hits). So the following strategies naturally follow:
Advanced Search Methods: Truncation / Wildcards / Controlled Vocabulary
Truncation allows you to search the "root" form of a word with all its different endings by adding a symbol to the end of a word. Example: typing in bank* will retrieve results with these words: bank, banks, banking, bankers, bankruptcy The most common truncation symbol is the asterisk * but databases vary. Check the database Help section to find the correct truncation symbol. Example: bank* bank! bank# bank? See the sample search below for results using "bank*" in a Discovery search.
Go to the best source for the type of information that you want.
Some suggested websites:
In order to use the sources listed below, you'll need to log in to the Library Databases.
Go to MyMonroe and select the Library Resources Gadget
(Login details here.)
You might want to try:
Researching Your Topic
What is Your Topic?
Write a description of what your paper is about in no more than three sentences. If you are having trouble, ask yourself what you want to prove in your paper, or try phrasing your topic as a question.
What are Your Main Ideas?
Pick out the most important ideas from the three sentences you just wrote out. You will link the concepts with AND when you search
1st Concept ____________________________________________________________________________________
2nd Concept ____________________________________________________________________________________
3rd Concept ____________________________________________________________________________________
You don’t have to have three concepts. You can have more or fewer, but try to begin with at least two.