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Research Guides@Tufts

English 1: Expository Writing: Get Started

Find Background Information

Encyclopedias & Dictionaries online

Select A Research Topic

Keyword Searching

Keyword Search Rules for the Library Catalog and Databases

Using AND/OR/NOT (Boolean Search Operators)

Use AND to focus search and combine different aspects of your topic.

Example: vegetarianism and environment


Use OR to expand your search and find synonyms/related terms.

Example: global warming or climate change


Use NOT to exclude a word or phrase from your search

Example: emissions trading not United States


Additional Search Tips

"Phrase search"  - Use quotation marks" " to search for a particular phrase.

Example:"greenhouse gas emissions"

    Truncation * - Use an asterisk to find variations of a word. Put an asterisk following the root of the word to find all variations of that word, including singular and plural.

    Example:environment* (finds environments, environmental, environmentalist, etc.)

      (Grouping/Nesting Keywords) - Use parentheses ( ) as a way to group all your search terms together.

      Example:(climate change or global warming) and population growth

        See the Basic Search Tips guides for more information, including examples.

        First Year Education Librarian

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        Elizabeth Berman