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Refining Results 

Refining Your Search

Since BU Google only returns web pages that contain all of your search terms, refining or narrowing your search can be as simple as adding more terms or words to your search. With additional search terms, the new search will return a specific subset of the pages from the previous search.

You also can refine searches by excluding words and searching by phrases (see below).

Excluding Words
You can exclude a word from your search by putting a minus sign ("-") immediately in front of the term you want to exclude. Make sure you include a space before the minus sign.

For example, searching for:

will return pages about bass that do not contain the word "music."

Searching by Phrase

You can search for phrases by adding quotation marks. Words enclosed in double quotation marks ("like this") appear together in all returned documents. Phrase searches using quotation marks are useful when searching for famous sayings or specific names.

For example, searching for:

will return pages that contain the exact phrase "art history."

Certain characters serve as phrase connectors. Phrase connectors work like quotes because they join your search words in the same way double quotes join your search words. For example, the search:

is treated as a phrase search even though the search words are not enclosed in double quotation marks. BU Google recognizes hyphens, slashes, periods, equal signs, and apostrophes as phrase connectors.


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