Answered By: University of Illinois Library
Last Updated: Dec 06, 2016     Views: 470

To narrow or broaden search results, try using Boolean searches. Boolean searching is a method of using search tools called operators and modifiers that modify the search results by using them with their key words to broaden and narrow search results. 

The operators are:

  • AND, which combines words together to narrow a search
  • OR, which searches for one term or another to broaden a search
  • NOT, which excludes words from a search to narrow it

The modifiers are:

  • an asterisk *, which is placed at the end of a word stem and pulls results with the same stem and different endings and broadens a search
  • parenthesis (), which are used with OR statements to specify that the results should only mention one of the key words
  • quotation marks " ", which will return the exact word or phrase searched and no variants

Read this library guide page on Boolean searches or this LifeWire article to learn more.

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