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Adams State University
Nielsen Library

ENG 102 - Brockman


This short video from the University of Nevada Las Vegas Libraries does a good job of explaining some strategies that will be helpful for searching the library databases and catalog.

Advanced Search Strategies from UNLV Libraries on Vimeo.

When you search using Google, you can use natural language: "What is Socrates' main idea in Plato's Republic".

When you're searching in a library database or the catalog, that won't always bring back helpful results and it might not bring back any results at all.

To search for "What is Socrates' main idea in Plato's Republic", first, break that topic up into keywords: socrates, republic, and maybe plato 

Once you've got your keywords, you'll connect them together using the words AND and OR:

  • AND narrows your search by looking for items with all of the keywords.
  • OR broadens your search by looking for items with any of the keywords.

For this search, you might want to start with: socrates AND republic AND plato.

Once you've brainstormed your keywords, you can use them to search one of our databases (see below).