Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Find Articles

Your guide to finding articles for your research.

How do I narrow my search?


Use keywords that are relevant to your subject in the search box to get started and narrow your search.

Search tips:

  • Separate each keyword or phrase with “and” for a more precise result.
  • Click the box that limits the search to full text.

Use Keywords & Boolean Logic


Library databases don't search using full sentences. Instead, they use keywords and boolean logic.

Your best bet is to use keywords to search to get the results you are looking for.


What is a keyword?

Keywords are the essential words in your research question that focus on the main concepts you are interested in.

Other filler words are non-essential to the search process.

EXAMPLE

The keywords are highlighted and bracketed in the research question below:

Research question: What is the connection between [race] and [police brutality]?

Keywords: your keywords and key phrases are then "race" and "police brutality"


What is Boolean Logic?

Boolean logic is a system that shows relationships between sets of keywords, terms, or subjects by using the words AND, OR, and NOT. In library databases, we use these terms to specify exactly what we are looking for when we perform a search.

The term Boolean comes from the name of the man who invented this system, George Boole.
 

Connecting Words with Boolean Logic

Using connecting words like AND, OR, & NOT can help you find what you are looking for. 

  • Use AND to connect terms that are all needed
    • race AND police brutality
  • Use OR to search for synonyms and related terms
    • race OR ethnicity OR racism OR minorities
    • police brutality OR excessive force OR police shootings
  • Use NOT to exclude terms that are unwanted
    • police brutality NOT riots
  • Use quotation marks "  " around phrases to get exact results
    • "use of force"

Learn more about keywords and other search techniques with this guide from UCLA: Search Techniques