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CMST 220 - Public Speaking (Martin): Search Tips

Library information and resources for Susan Martin's CMST 220 class

I've got all these keywords, now how do I use them?

Keywords (or search terms) are the words you use to search. They're what you enter into the search box of a search tool, such as Google or a Library database like ProQuest.

Databases such as the ones you will be using for your classes provide better results if you use three strategies for entering your keywords.

Tip #1: Use AND and OR

Separate words and phrases with the word AND, like this:

texts AND teens AND driving

The AND is called a Boolean operator.

Another Boolean operator is OR, which you can use to link synonyms:

texts AND (teens OR adolescents) AND driving

Notice that when you use OR, you also use parenthesis around the words your connecting (that's important!)

You can learn more about Boolean operators in IRIS: Boolean Operators.

Tip #3: Use Quotation Marks

Use quotation marks around common phrases. Quotation marks will keep your words "stuck" together.

"young adult"

"cell phone"

"distracted driving"

"department of motor vehicles"

Google Search Tips

You can search the open web more efficiently using the following strategies.

Limit your search to a specific domain type or website using site:

Find websites that have your search terms in the title using intitle:

intitle:"racial bias"


intitle:"food desert"

Tip #2: Use the Asterisk

Use the asterisk to truncate words. Truncating means that you put an * at the end of the root word.

text   -- looks only for the word text
text*  -- looks for text, texts, texting

More examples:

driv* = drive, driving, driver
adolescen* = adolescent, adolescence
teen* = teen, teens, teenagers

Example Search Phrases

texts AND teens AND driving

text* AND teens AND driving

text* AND (teens OR adolescents) AND driving

text* AND (teen* OR adolescen* OR "young adult") AND driv*






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