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Intro to Library Research

This guide is a starting point for doing research at Wardman Library, finding and evaluating scholarly resources, and getting additional writing help.

Search Operators Cheatsheet

Boolean Operators

AND:   "global warming AND carbon"  (searches for articles that contain both phrases)

OR:      "global warming OR climate change" (searches for articles that contain either phrase)

NOT:     "global warming NOT Al Gore" (searches for articles on global warming that do not mention Al Gore)

Boolean Operators Video

Truncation and Wildcards

An asterisk (*) can be used as a substitute for one or multiple characters at the end of a word. A question mark (?) can be used to replace a single character anywhere within a word. Examples:

environment*  (searches for environmental, environment, environments, etc.)

politi*  (searches for politics, political, politicians, etc.)

wom?n  (searches for woman or women)

Use Advanced Search

Generating Keywords

Begin with basic, foundational knowledge before taking a dive into the deep end of the research pool. Use your preliminary research as an opportunity to develop an ongoing list of keywords. Keep these keywords "in your back pocket" so to speak, and refer to them once you begin searching for material. Keep adding to this list as you go. 

This list should continue to evolve even after your initial brainstorming. Pay attention to Subjects, Keywords, and related topics that could help you during your research journey.

Additional Tips for Generating Keywords...

Use course readings: Take a look at your required readings and the bibliographies/references listed at the end. What essential words are used in the titles of these works?
Discover subject headings: Found at least one book or article that is relevant to your research? Take a look at the subject headings used in the library catalog (for books) or databases to describe the item and use those for search terms instead.
Use a thesaurus: Find additional synonyms and related terms for your topic using a thesauru