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UCOR 1600-11 Conflict and Revolution in Central America (Professor Serena Cosgrove)

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Rick Block
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Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons


Keywords can be a word or phrase drawn from your sentence topic. You can expand your keywords by thinking of synonyms.

You may want to consider the plural of the words and how to format.  If you format your search like this: work*- you will  capture both the singular and plural of the words, as well as words from the roots: works, worker, working.  This is called a truncation symbol and is used in most databases. In addition, if a term is used as a phrase and you want to capture each word of the phrase in a specific order, put the phrase in quotes:  "working women" You can also use a wildcard and tell the search interface to replace the wildcard character with any other character or characters (or sometimes no characters). For example, wom*n searches for woman, women, etc.

Generally, when you do a keyword search in a library catalog or article database, the title, subject and abstract fields are searched. These fields are called the Basic Index.

Use Boolean Strategy: AND, OR NOT

Term 1 and term 2 ( and ) Retrieves only records with both terms

  women and inheritance

Term 1 or term 2 ( or ) Maximizes results by retrieving either term

inheritance or property


Boolean Search AND, OR, NOT

Searching Databases - Boolean Searching

Search strategically using connecting terms

Search strategically using connecting terms: OR

Search strategically using connecting terms: NOT

Search strategically: nesting connecting terms