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This course guide provides information and resources to support WRIT 2 assignments.

Effective Searching

Effective Searching - involves creating search strings which include your keywords as well as tools to assist with joining the concepts together


Search String – what you put into the databases, the keywords and concepts with the connectors such as And, Or, or Not (Boolean operators).  They work like order of operations like a math equation; telling the computer what to do in what order.


Boolean: And, Or, Not

o   And – narrows and joins the terms

o   OR – expands – synonyms

o   Not – eliminates


Example: “intimate partner violence” OR IPV


“Intimate partner violence” OR IPV AND characteristics AND offenders NOT victims


“Phrase Searching” – use to join two or more words in a phrase:   “intimate partner violence”


Truncation and Wildcards

o   Wildcard     ne?t         neat, next, nest

o   Wildcard     col#r        color, colour

o   Truncation  sampl*    sample, sampling


 Refining: Expanding/Narrowing/Clarifying:

Ways to LIMIT search to articles satisfying your need:     Ways to EXPAND your search if not sufficient quantity of results                                 

Format:  Full-text available

Reminder: caveat about need, since scanning paper journals and ILL are options


Subject Terms:  Use better keywords that you identify from resources that are most relevant to your research question

Peer-reviewed or scholarly journal, general interest material, specific subject material


Works Cited Lists from articles, books, and dissertations can also be a good source of identifying additional articles

Dates:   Current and up-to-date?

Depends on project.  Can be either historical or only current material, or a mix.


Take database suggestions for similar articles, if their title and/or abstract was relevant to your research need

United States focused or international in scope


Remove filters/limiters to include non-full-text articles and include older dates

Use better keywords that you identify from items you find that are most relevant


See other suggestions from textbook appendix and others

Boolean: AND

Boolean: OR

Boolean: AND and OR