Tips for Searching

1. Correct Spelling

> Using incorrect spelling can often effect the results of the search.  

2. Search Phrases

> Use keywords or a phrase to describe what you are looking for.  Connect keywords or phrases with "AND" or "OR", to expand the search.

I need critical articles of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn?
Good search terms: criticism AND "huckleberry finn"

3. Quotation Marks

> Put quotation marks around distinctive phrases (Ex. "usa patriot act").  This searches the phrase as a whole instead of as separate words.

4. Truncation

Ex:  wom*n [searches both women and woman]

> Truncation varies among databases.  Consult the database's help topics for truncation specifics.

If you are not finding the information you need, try the following:

> Use different search terms related to your topic
> Use fewer words in your search
> Try other databases

Note: These guidelines were developed by the librarians at Pitt Community College.