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Communication Studies

Still Not Getting the Results You Want?

Review our instructions on identifying keywords and creating effective search statements and our tips on improving your search:

Using AND

Use AND in your search to:

  • Narrow down your results
  • Find sources that have ALL of your search terms

Example:  French Revolution AND Enlightenment

The green space represents the results for this search.

Using OR

Use OR in your search to:

  • Connect 2 or more similar terms (synonyms)
  • Broaden your results (so that your results have either search term)

Example:  French Revolution OR Reign of Terror

The green space represents the results for this search.

Quick Tricks

* Add this symbol onto the root of a word to find results that use all variations of that word.


Example:  Religio*  = religion, religions, religous, religiosity


"..."  Place quotation marks around search terms or a search phrase to seach for that exact phrase.


Example: "Liberty, equality, fraternity"


(   )   Use parentheses to nest similar terms or to ensure the database will search your terms in the correct order.


Example:  French Revolution AND (aristocracy OR monarchy)

Using NOT

Use NOT in your search to:

  • Exclude a word from your search
  • Narrow down your results, telling the system not to include any results with that term

Example:  Revolution NOT American