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Library Research Tutorial

Additional Searching Techniques

In addition to Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT), there are a couple more tools you can use to improve your searching:

Quotation marks are used for two or more keywords you want searched as phrases - the database will search for exactly what’s between the quotes.

Here is the updated search with quotation marks:

(social media OR Facebook OR Twitter) AND (online classroom OR online learning OR distance educationNOT “community college


Truncation is indicated by an asterisk * and will search for multiple endings of a word all at once. If you were searching for a topic on management and wanted to include articles that discuss management, managers, and managing, you could use truncation.


Will search for:






You can also use truncation to search for the singular and plurals of “online classroom” and “community college” at the same time:

(social media OR Facebook OR Twitter) AND (online classroom*” OR online learning OR distance educationNOT “community college*”

*Research Tip: Your search statements will not always be long. They will vary in length depending upon your topic, and the number of related terms for your concept.


Limiters are used to set parameters for the resources you want to see included in your results set. In most databases you can limit to Scholarly/Peer Reviewed sources, specify a publication date range to retrieve only timely/current results, and select specific source types (i.e. journal articles).