Web Resources @ JCPL Teen Place

The Place for helpful internet sites

Tips for Searching the Net:

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators are words that allow you to combine search terms in most search engines.


AND tells the search engine to find both terms on the same site. For instance, entering "business AND ethics" would instruct the search engine to find web pages that contain both words, "business" and "ethics."


OR instructs the search engine to find one term or the other. Entering "business OR ethics" would cause the search engine to look for web pages that contain either the word "business" or the word "ethics," but not necessarily both words. As you can imagine, if you use OR, the search engine could return thousands of sites.


NOT tells the search engine to find pages that contain the first word but not the second. This limitation is helpful when you know your search term is likely to appear with another term that does not interest you.


NEAR only appears in some search engines, but it tells the search engine only to return web pages in which the terms are near each other. Usually the terms are within a few words of each other.


For many search engines, you can use "+" as a substitute for AND and "-" as a substitute for NOT. You can also use quotation marks to indicate that you want to find an exact phrase.