Step ONE • Make a list of all search terms that you can think of that apply to your topic. Also consider their synonyms. For example: • Farming • Agriculture • Crops • Planting
Boolean Operators • AND – join two words with AND to narrow the search. For example, joining the words Texas AND cowboys tells the search engine that you want only information that contains both words in the text. • OR –join two words with OR to broaden your search. Always use parentheses around the words joined by OR. This tells the search engine to find information that has either word or both words. (Texas OR cowboys) would bring up all articles on Texas and all articles on cowboys. A huge amount of info. • NOT – join two words with NOT to narrow the search the most. Texas NOT cowboys. This tells the search engine that you want only articles that have the word Texas, but none of the articles that contain cowboys.
Quotation symbols • Enclosing words in quotation marks will instruct the search engine to find articles that contain the two or more words together. “Texas Cowboys” means you would get only those articles that contained the two words side by side in the text.
Wild Card • Know the term, “The joker is wild?” That means that in a card game, the joker can be what you need it to be to best serve your purpose. • Adding the * symbol or ? can serve as wild cards when searching. This tells a search engine to find the combination of letters before the symbol and words that have that combination at the beginning of them. For example – Texa* will find Texas and Texan. • This can be very beneficial if you are unsure of how to spell words or which form you want.
Placement of words in string • Always place your most import words first in the search string. If you are looking for a family pet, and you want to know which breed is best to choose, you would use • Dog breed family pet choose