Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

EAL/WLT 232: Modern Chinese Literature: Help Pages

Citation Help

MLA Style

To get help with MLA style, visit the SC Libraries' Citation Guides & Style Manuals page.

Search tips and techniques

1)  Phrase searching -- use either quotation marks (Discover) or parentheses (Five Colleges catalog)

“extramarital affairs” = anything with the phrase “extramarital affairs”

 2)  Boolean searches – invented by a man with an aesthetically ugly last name, these searches allow you to find citations while often weeding out what you don’t need.  The two main operators are AND and OR, and they work precisely the opposite way you’d imagine. 

 Example #1:        “extramarital affairs” and lesbians = anything that has both terms in the article

 Example #2:       affairs or infidelity = any source with either term

3)    Truncation – this technique entails lopping off the end of a word and replacing it with a wildcard sign:    *          ?          $

 Example:     lesbian* = lesbian, lesbians, lesbianism

 Example:     Internal truncation is also handy.  Use a ? for when you want to replace just one letter within a word:  wom?n = woman, women

 3)   Subject headings and descriptors – these will be your best friends in a database.  They will lead to major concepts that you can search with and describe your topic.

4)   Limit your search – if you get hundreds of results, use “narrow results by” options, along with subject headings/thesaurus terms to pare down your results.

Ask Us - Meet with Us

Smith College Teaching, Learning & Research Librarians

Contact: Teaching, Learning & Research Librarians

 Use Ask Us to connect
 libraryhelp@smith.edu