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PLSC 205/SOC 205: Research Methods and Analysis


 Use these search tips in any catalog or database.


Using AND

Use AND in your search to:

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

Example:  gender AND voting

*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 term)

Example:  climate change OR global warming

*The green space represents the results for this search

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:  women AND voting NOT United States

Quick Tricks

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

Example:  democra* = democrat, democratic, democracy

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

Example:  "gender gap"

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

Example:  youth AND (climate change OR global warming)