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Search strategy builder

One of the best ways to search complex topics in any database – including Google – is to use Boolean Logic; a nested search approach that groups similar terms and combines them using the specific words ‘AND’ , ‘OR’, and (sometimes) ‘NOT’. These logical operators are often capitalized to distinguish them from normal language use. This exercise will show you how to build a custom search for your topic.

Create a Research Topic

Try to limit the topic to one sentence that fully describes your research. Example: Effects of media on women’s body image

What are the central (‘key’) concepts? What terms might be used by others writing on this topic?

Concept 1 and    Concept 2 and    Concept 3
Name your concepts here    
Search terms Search terms Search terms
  • List additional, alternate terms for each concept.
    (These can be synonyms, or they can be specific examples of the concept).
  • Use single words, or "short phrases" in quotes
  • Add an asterisk (*) to any word to pull variations of that word.
    (televis* will retrieve both ‘televised’ and ‘television’).

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or


…now copy & paste into BULSearch for results!





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Search Strategy Builder created by University of Arizona Libraries and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.