When searching for information, there are a number of techniques to use that will help refine your search results. You can use these strategies when looking for information from the library databases or from a search engine such as Google.
Put quotation marks " " around phrases to search the term as a phrase. Otherwise the database or Google may separate the words.
"social media" "minimum wage" "Port Huron"
Refine your search results using Boolean operators. The three most common Boolean operators are AND, OR, and NOT, but there are others available. The operators AND and NOT will narrow your search and OR will usually increase your search results.
“climate change” AND "national security"
“business plans” AND restaurants
"college students" AND "study habits"
"Blue Water Area" OR "Thumb Coast"
colleges OR universities
restaurants OR “food industry”
ecommerce OR "online shopping"
graffiti NOT "American Graffiti"
“college students” AND sleep AND ("cell phone" OR texting)
marketing AND (restaurants OR "food industry")
A basic search is constructed using keywords, which together form your query. The keywords you choose to include in your query will have a direct result on the search results.
Keys to conducting a good search include:
If you need assistance, or feel a little lost – be sure to ask a SC4 Librarian for help!