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EDG 500 / EDU 105: Inquiry Into Foundations Educ / Teaching in a Diverse Society:

Search Tips

Boolean Searching AND, OR, NOT

One of the most common searching methods is Boolean Searching, also called key word searching.

This type of search tells the database to retrieve all of the records in the database which contain a word or a set of words.

You can alter the results by using Boolean Operators which are the words AND, OR and NOT.

Boolean Operators


Example: cookies and milk

Will retrieve records which contain the word cookies and the word milk.


Example: caffeine or coffee

Will retrieve records which contain the word caffeine or the word coffee. This operator is used to broaden the number of records retrieved.


Example: chocolate not cake

Will retrieve records which contain only the word chocolate but not the word cake. This operator is used to reduce the number of records retrieved

Truncation *

To shorten or cut off at the end. 

Use Truncation to find different forms of words in a Boolean or keyword search.



Will retrieve records which contain the words:

employ, employment, employs, employee, employer in a record.

Wildcard ?

A wildcard character can be used to substitute for any other character(s).



Will retrieve adjusts, adjusting, adjustment, adjustments

Quotation marks “ “

Requires words to searched as a phrase.  

Also requires that to be searched in the exact order they were entered.


“Working mothers”

“Affirmative Action”

Nesting ( )

Use Nesting to preserve the "logic" of your Boolean Search.

Nesting is the use of parenthesis to put your search words into sets.


Success and (education or employment)

Will retrieve records which contain the word success and the word education or the word employment. Nesting is often used when search terms have similar meanings.

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