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SOCI301: Intro to Sociological Research

Research Tip: How to Narrow Your Search

  • Combine concepts with AND to find more relevant sources
    • picasso AND Africa
    • internet AND privacy
    • bedrock AND Massachusetts AND hydrology
  • Use “quotation marks” to find exact phrases
    • "rock art"
    • “African diaspora”
    • “invertible matrix”

Research Tip: How to Broaden Your Search

  • Use ORs and parentheses to combine synonyms or related terms
    • (oil OR petroleum OR crude)
    • (antibiotic OR antiviral)
    • (woman OR girl OR female)
  • Truncate roots of important words to find plurals and more
    • perform* (searches for perform, performance, performativity, etc.)
    • cell$
    • pregnan!
  • Insert a wild card symbol to catch words with different spellings
    • wom?n
    • coloni#ation
    • colo$r

*Truncation and wild cards work differently in different databases. Check the help section of the database to learn what symbol to use and how to properly use it.