ENGL 1120

Using Keywords

Not having any luck? It might be your keywords.  

Watch this short video on how to begin developing search terms for your paper.

[Please visit the video on YouTube for descriptive transcript] 

Search Tips

  • An asterisk * at the end of a word tells the database to search for multiple endings 
    • Educat* will look for educate, educators, education, etc. 
  • Quotation marks around a phrase will tell the database to keep those words together in that order
    • "New Mexico" -- otherwise you'll end up with hits about New York, New Jersey, and Mexico
  • Use Boolean operators: AND (narrows search, joins different concepts) OR (broadens search, use for synonyms)
    • "New Mexico" AND population; "New Mexico" OR Southwest
  • To search synonyms in a single Boolean search, put parentheses around them
    • (university OR college OR "higher education") 
  • Use the built in limiters - select language or date published (or a range). You can even limit to peer-reviewed articles or other formats like dvds or ebooks


Have questions? Not to worry! Use the any of the following methods *or* the chat box below: