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ENG 131 and 132: Search Strategies

Boolean Operators




Truncation lets you search various word endings simultaneously to get more results.

This is done by using a wildcard symbol--usually the asterisk (*).

For example, searching for this:

gives you this:





"Phrase Searching"

When you surround your search terms with quotation marks, you are telling the database that the words must appear as an exact phrase 


Search Strategies - Respiratory Therapy Resources - Library Research Guides  at St. Clair County Community College






You can limit your search by selecting a field from the drop-down menu. For example, when you select Title, you're telling the database to only search for your word/phrase in the title of the article.




Narrow your search by date. If you need an article no more than 5 years old, try searching for articles published between 2017 and 2022. Or, if you're doing historical research, you can limit your search to an older time period (such as 1955-1960).

Example of how to find a journal article.

You need to find an article on breastfeeding. You can access articles in a few different ways:

*by searching in an eJournal

*by searching in a database

*by searching WorldCat

For this example, let's use WorldCat. On the library's website, enter breastfeeding in the white search box in the center of the screen and then press Go.

You have access to A LOT of resources on breastfeeding! Let's narrow down your search to find useful information. Click the box next to Downloadable Article (on the left).

Doing that narrowed your search a little bit, but we need to get rid of other articles that aren't useful to you. Scroll down, and on the left side of your screen, click Full Text. Now you can be sure that all of the articles you find can be read in their entirety. Next, click Last 5 years. Now you'll find full text articles published in the last 5 years.

Scroll down your list of results until you find an article you'd like to use. For this example, we're using #7: Breastfeeding and contraception counseling: a qualitative study. Click View full text (in the blue box).

When you need to choose between a HTML file and a PDF file, always choose the PDF because it looks exactly like the print format and may include images (like photos, tables, graphs, etc.). Now that you're in the full text PDF file, you'll notice there are several things you can do with the article on the right side of the screen: Save it, print it, or even cite it!

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