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SOC101 Library Research Skills Guide: Search strategies

Common Search Tips

These search tips can help you to find more relevant results in Primo Search and many other library databases. If these tips don't work in the database you are using check their help section for their set of symbols.

Search Operator Example
Use AND to retrieve results that contain both of your search terms. sociology AND power
Use OR to retrieve results that contain any or all of your search terms. freedom OR privilege
Using NOT to exclude irrelevant results. class NOT school
Combine terms with parentheses to create complex searches. (police OR law) AND enforcement
Use quotation marks to search for a phrase "social theory"
Search for terms with different word endings using an asterisk. sociol* = sociology, sociologist, sociological
A question mark can be used to replace a single letter within a word. analy?e = analyse, analyze

Get better search results

Activity

Try combining some of your keywords using some common search tips.

  • Do you have similar terms to link with OR?
  • Do you have any phrases?
  • Can you combine two different terms with an AND?