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ENGR 100 Library Assignment: Part 2: Developing Keywords and Search Strings

This guide provides resources to help you with your Engineering 100 library assignment.

Background Sources: Online Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

Background sources can help you learn the language related to your topic.  You may gather synonyms for the keywords in your topic and use those synonyms in your search strings.

Engineering Background Sources

Assignment Part 2: Developing Keywords and Search Strings

The information given in this section will help you to complete the second part of your library assignment.

  1. Identify keywords related to your research question.
  2. Use background sources to find synonyms.
  3. Use Boolean logic to create search strings that can be used to locate library resources.

Selecting the Right Number of Keywords

Kimbel Library.  "Selecting the Right Number of Keywords."  Online video clip.  Vimeo.  Vimeo, 2010.  Web.  09 July 2014.

Boolean Operators

Try advanced searching using Boolean operators.

Wilson, Emily.  "Boolean Operators."  Online video clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 24 Apr. 2008.  Web.  09 July 2014.

Ask a Librarian

If you need assistance finding or using these resources, Ask a Librarian!





Developing a Search Strategy

The Search String Toolkit

The Boolean Operators: AND, OR, and NOT

AND finds sources that mention both listed concepts.
Wikipedia AND accuracy

OR finds sources that mention either of the two concepts.
Wikipedia AND (accuracy OR reliability)

NOT excludes sources that mention a certain concept.
Wikipedia AND (accuracy OR reliability) NOT “drug information”

Other Helpful Tools:

Quotes link phrases together. Putting the phrase “drug information” in quotes searches sources with that exact phrase, instead of searching sources with the word “drug” and “information” separately.

Truncation allows you to search a word in its varying forms.  To use truncation, type the root of the word and place the truncation symbol (often an *) behind it.

Searching for accura* will include sources that use the term accurate and the term accuracy.  
Wikipedia AND (accura* OR reliab*)