By default, all terms in many search boxes are combined with AND: teacher education will return results that contain both terms.
Use OR to expand your search: "teacher education" OR "teacher training" will return results that contain either the first term, the second term, or both.
Use NOT to exclude terms: animal NOT dog will return results that do not include the term dog.
For more information about how Boolean logic works, see the "Boolean Logic" link in the left sidebar of this guide.
Note: databases use difference symbols for wildcards. Always consult the database's help page.
Most Information searches start with keywords. Keywords allow you to search with natural language, describing a topic in words that you would actually use.
When choosing keywords you should choose words that are most likely to appear in an article of book that would relate to your topic. You should avoid words that are too common and likely to appear in multiple topics.
If you are having trouble choosing keywords, it can help to create a Research Plan:
When you are using a term that is made up of more than one word, it may be necessary to enter the term as a phrase. The most common way of doing this is to surround the term with quotation marks. For example: "fossil fuel." This tells the catalog, database, or search engine that you are only interested in articles where these words appear together and in the correct order. Some databases allow advanced boolean searching which will allow more dynamic ways of searching for phrases.