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Research Techniques – Advanced search techniques

Further assistance for developing student research techniques can be achieved by utilising the techniques of truncation, quotation marks and parentheses.

Truncation is a process whereby the search term is shortened by removing part of it. The symbol * will allow a search of variations of the word. For example: educat* will search for all topics with the term educat within the word. (Education, educating, educate, educational etc.)

The use of quotation marks helps to control a phrase search. Phrase searching with quotation marks ensures the words are found side by side in the exact written format. For example: “climate change”, “solar eclipse”.

The use of parentheses creates order in the search by directing the order of the search.  By enclosing search terms along with Boolean operators in the parentheses, it can ensure that this search term is considered first before the information outside the parentheses. For example: breeding AND (cats OR kittens).