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History Research Guide

Search Tips

Keep it simple! Start by typing the name of a thing, place, or concept that you are looking for.

Start small! Begin with just one or a few search terms, then add additional terms if you find you have too many results. Each time you put in another search term it will give you fewer results.

Use only the important words rather than a full sentence or question. 

Search Terms

Before starting your research, think of different search terms you might want to use. 

For example, if you were researching the Women's Rights Movement, you might also search:

  • feminism
  • suffrage
  • equal rights
  • gender equality

Use your alternate search terms if you are having trouble finding sources with your original search terms.

Phrase Searching

Want to search something as an exact phrase?  Simply add quotes.  

For example, "Womens Rights Movement"

Connecting Search Terms

Unlike most search engines, library databases allow you to search with precision.  By using the following connecting words, you can find the most relevant results.


AND

Connecting search terms with AND will return only results that have both of your search terms.  For example:

 women and suffrage


OR

Connecting search terms with OR will return results that have either of your search terms.  For example:

suffrage or voting

 

Search word variations

Want to search variations of a single word?  Use an asterisk mark (*) at the spot where word variations begin.

For example:

femini*

will find

feminist

feminism

feminine