Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

LDR 7300 - Research Methods: Search

This guide includes library resources and library instruction support for the Research Methods class.

Leadership Subject Resources Guide

Boolean Operators


  • Using Boolean Operators as a way to narrow or broaden your search:

AND: use to combine different concepts or keywords; each result will contain all search terms

Example: accessibility AND education

OR: use to connect similar concepts or keywords; each result will contain at least one of the search terms

Example: teach OR educate

Quotation Marks " ": place around phrases to search for words in that exact order or with that exact spelling

Example: "employee morale"

Parentheses ( ): place around related terms to search for more than one group of keywords

Example: (teach OR educate) AND accessibility

 Asterisk *: use at the end of a keyword to search words that start with the same letters

Example: libraries AND (teach* OR educat*)

Choose Topic and Create Research Question

Video used with permission from NCSU under Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA US license

Identifying Keywords

Before you can begin searching for information in a print or online resource, you need to identify keywords related to your topic. Key terminology can be found easily by scanning:

  • Your initial research questions,
  • Encyclopedia and other articles used when conducting background research,
  • Bibliographies found at the end of books and articles.

If you are still struggling, then try these suggestions:

  • Use a thesaurus to identify synonyms.
  • Find pictures related to your topic, then describe the picture.
  • Brainstorm keywords with a librarian, your instructor, or a friend.

Questions? Ask your Librarian!

Profile Photo
Heather Back
Contact:
Dunbar Library 120
(937) 775-3515

Ask Us

chat loading...