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Writing Tutors: Library Resources

Common Topic Problems

Topic search finds too many resources:

  • Focus or narrow your search by adding another key concept to the search statement using AND.

Topic search finds too few or no resources:

  • Expand the focus. Try adding some synonyms or alternative terms for the key concepts using OR.

Developing Your Search

Search Strategy Builder


The Search Strategy Builder lets you see what topic keywords look like using Boolean logic.

It can provide an idea of how to think about organizing your topic when searching article databases or the library catalog:

  Concept 1 and Concept 2 and Concept 3
Type your main concepts here    
Search terms Search terms Search terms
List alternate terms or synonyms for each concept.

Use either single words, or "short phrases" in quotes

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

Last modified: December 15, 2015