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Ferris Library for Information, Technology, and Education

ENGL 150 (Sterling): Get Started

Research Guides

Guides are available for a variety of subjects!

Check out FLITE's research guides for additional help with your research assignment.

Find Background Information

Encyclopedias & Dictionaries online

Research Paper Navigator

Research Paper Navigator

Use for help with

  • time management
  • library research
  • writing your paper
  • citing sources
Also has subject guides with suggested databases.

Select A Research Topic

Keyword Searching

Keyword Search Rules for the Library Catalog and Databases

Using AND/OR/NOT (Boolean Search Operators)

Use AND to focus search and combine different aspects of your topic.

Example: vegetarianism and environment


Use OR to expand your search and find synonyms/related terms.

Example: global warming or climate change


Use NOT to exclude a word or phrase from your search

Example: emissions trading not United States


Additional Search Tips

"Phrase search"  - Use quotation marks" " to search for a particular phrase.

Example: "greenhouse gas emissions"

Truncation * - Use an asterisk to find variations of a word. Put an asterisk following the root of the word to find all variations of that word, including singular and plural.

Example: environment* (finds environments, environmental, environmentalist, etc.)

(Grouping/Nesting Keywords) - Use parentheses ( ) as a way to group all your search terms together.

Example: (climate change or global warming) and population growth

See the Basic Search Tips guides for more information, including examples.  Use the Search Generator from Northwest Missouri State University to help you create a keyword search.  Or use the Keyword Searching Worksheet to help you brainstorm keywords and put together your own search query.

Subject Guide

Stacy Anderson