Search Strategies

For academic and news databases, as well as the Omni for books

  • Develop a search statement
  • A search statement is a list of keywords, combined using Boolean Operators (AND; OR; NOT)
    • AND - this will combine concepts, all of which must be found in your list of results
      • gender AND representation
    • OR - either this concept or that concept (or both). This is helpful for generating a list of synonyms. Use synonyms to anticipate the different ways different authors may refer to the same idea. A thesaurus can be helpful for this
      • film OR movie
    • NOT - do not include this concept
      • radio NOT podcast
    • Quote marks - find specific phrase or name
      • "video game"
      • "shawshank redemption"
    • Truncation - any combination of letters to follow
      • canad* - will find Canada, Canadian, Canadian's, etc.
      • sex* - will find sexual, sexuality, sexualism, etc.
    • combine one or more of these operators
    • put a list of synonyms in brackets
  • For example, my topic might be to explore the sexualization of female roles in motion picture. My search statement might look something like this:
    • sex* AND (female OR women OR girl) AND (film OR movie OR "motion picture")

News and Magazine Databases

Web Resources

Books and Films

Databases for Journal Articles

Other Subject Guides


Content last reviewed: