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ENG118: Worth 1,000 Words: Finding Books & Articles

Fall 2016, E. Myers

Background information


Discover: Start here for books, articles & more


The Five College Library catalog, e-books, JSTOR, and EBSCO databases such as Academic Search Premier are included.  

Discover Advanced Search includes more search options.

Finding articles

Search tips and techniques

Phrase searching – “digital surveillance” = anything with the phrase “digital surveillance"

Truncation – this technique entails lopping off the end of a word and replacing it with a wildcard sign.  Most databases use one of these:  *  ?   $

Example: surveil* = surveil, surveiling, surveillance

Boolean searches -- these terms allow you to find what you need and also weed out what you don't need.  Easy mnemonic:  "AND is less, OR is more."  

Example with AND:  “digital surveillance” and privacy = anything that has both terms in the article

Example with OR:  digital or electronic = any source with the term digital or electronic

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.

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

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Teaching, Learning & Research Librarians