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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!

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Heather Back
Dunbar Library 120
(937) 775-3515

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