Remember these two tips:
1. Use quotes when searching to keep phrases together. Also, try to be as specific as possible. For example, instead of civil war, search for "American Civil War"
2. Use Boolean operators (AND OR NOT). You may also substitute their symbols:
When searching in Google, remember to place the symbols right next to the search term. This is especially helpful with the minus sign:
Another valuable way to search library catalogs and research databases is to look for SUBJECT HEADINGS!
What are subject headings?
The main theme(s) or topic(s) of an item
Library catalogs records and research database results usually include a section called subject(s), subject heading(s),subject term(s) or something similar. These subject listings are usually links. Look for subject headings that work for your topic, click on that link and access other items that have the same subject heading! It's that simple!
What search strategy will work best?
Hint: Remember to do multiple searches using a variety of keywords in various combinations to get a variety of results. This is particularly important as you use switch from one resource to another.
Below are some other search techniques you may find useful:
Truncation: adding a symbol* to a root word to locate various forms of that word
teen* would locate teen, teens, teenage, teenager, teenagers
child$ would locate child, children, children's, childhood
*Note: Symbols may vary depending on the resource you are using, e.g., *, $, !, or #
Wildcard: Substituting a symbol for a letter in a word to locate various forms of that word
Example: wom!n to locate woman and women