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Sociology 476: Methods of Social Research: Search Tips

An online course guide for finding library resources for use with Sociology 476

Hints for Finding Articles in a Library Article Database

Hints for searching in an article database:

  1. Put phrases in quotation marks (“ ”). A phrase is any two or more words next to each other.
    For example: “united states”; “sierra leone”
  2. Use the truncation symbol to get alternate endings to words
    For example: imperial* = imperial, imperialism, imperialist
    • The most common truncation symbol in the article databases is the asterisk (*). However, the symbol can be different, so if you don’t know for sure which symbol to use, ask a reference librarian.
  3. Think of synonyms or other ways to say the same thing or to convey the same or similar ideas
    For example: corruption; fraud; profiteer
    • Then link the synonyms together with the word OR (this expands your search)
      For example: corruption OR profiteer*
  4. Narrow your search by joining ideas together using the word AND
    For example: madagascar AND military
  5. Combine the AND and OR search by putting the synonyms in parentheses
    For example: war AND (fraud OR profiteer* OR corrupt*)
  6. Use the  button if the article you want isn’t available in full text in the current database you are searching. 
  7. Use Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad) to request an article that we don’t have online or in print from another library.

Hints for Using Research@UWW

Hints for keyword searching in Research@UWW:

    1. To search for a phrase, place your words in quotes (" ").A phrase is any two or more words next to each other.
      For example: "united states"; "Salt Lake City"

    1. Use the truncation symbol (*) to get alternate endings to words
      For example: imperial* = imperial, imperialism, imperialist 

    1. Think of synonyms or other ways to say the same thing or to convey the same or similar ideas
      For example: corruption; fraud; profiteer  

    1. Link the synonyms together with the word OR (this expands your search)
      For example: corruption OR profiteer*

    1. Try Advanced Search to limit your search by language, publication date, other UW system libraries, and more options.

    1. Use the  button if the article you want isn’t full text in the database you are searching. 

  1. Use Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad) to request an article that we don’t have online or in print from another library.