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Search Strategies

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.

Phrase searching

Put quotation marks around words that you want to search as a phrase.

"Irish literature"    “Harlem Renaissance”   “Wall Reader”  “Route 66” 




Shorten terms and add an asterisk * to search for all forms of the root word.

symbol* = symbol + symbols + symbolism



Boolean Operators

Use Boolean operators to refine your search results.


AND - Use AND to find articles with all of your search terms.

"Irish literature" AND humor

"potato blight" AND Ireland

“Harlem Renaissance” AND “women writers”

Barr AND "Wall Reader"

Ireland AND famine

“Road Not Taken” AND symbolism



OR - Use OR to find articles that have either search term in them.

Ireland OR Irish

humor OR humour

irony OR sarcasm OR satire

ballads OR poetry

Chekov OR Chekhov




Put parentheses () around your ORs if other Boolean operators are present.

politic* AND (poetry OR ballads OR literature) AND (Ireland OR Irish)

("potato blight" OR "Great Famine") AND Ireland AND (ballads OR poetry)

(irony OR sarcasm OR satire) AND "Irish literature"

(graffiti OR "street murals") AND politic* AND Ireland



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Jane Lewandoski
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