Tips for Better Search Results

There are advanced search strategies that you can use to get relevant information from Google Scholar and other search engines. Here is a summary of some helpful techniques:

TIPS EXAMPLES
Be specific. Use nouns and unique words. Put the most important words first. Use multiple terms when possible If you were interested in bias in newspaper reporting you could search for:

  • newspapers bias slant censorship
  • journalism bias slant censorship
Use quotes around phrases to allow the search engine to search for the words as a phrase, not as separate words To look for a phrase, rather than searching for the individual words, use quotes around it:

  • “world health organization”
  • “bias in newspapers”
Use a plus sign + in front of a word or a phrase to require it to appear in the search results A word or a phrase preceded by a + must be present in all pages returned:

  • +”absentee voting”
  • +”assisted suicide”
Use a minus sign – in front of a word to exclude it from the results If you wanted pages on hoarding but not animal hoarding you can prevent the word “animal” from being included:

  • hoarding -animal
Use lower case letters to find words that are either lower and upper case
  • japanese internment “world war ii”
Use parentheses around terms that are alike. Enter connectors in capital letters
  • (adolescents OR teenagers)
  • television AND children

 

More Tips

  • Use words like policy or research in your search to find sites that are more reliable.
  • Use words like controversydebate, or issue to find sites that cover both sides of an issue.
  • Some search engines offer advanced features such as phrase searching, limiting, and Boolean searching in pull-down boxes.
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