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First Year Program RW 1299 Library Session

Refer to this guide for the information literacy skills covered in the library session for all students taking the Research-Based Writing 1299 course.

Database search strategies

Utilize available database searching strategies in order to focus and expand your search.

Concept mapping your research topic, Step 3

box labeled 1 your research question or topic greyed out and showing three boxes labeled 2 pull key concepts from your topic with each box linked by an arrow to another box labeled 3 brainstorm related keywords and all boxes connected with a big arrow to a box labeled 4 pick a keyword from each box to begin searching the databases. Change keyword combinations as needed.

Phrase searching with your key concepts

About Phrase Searching with Quotation Marks

You can search for an exact phrase by placing quotation marks around your search phrase.

Tip: phrase searching works when you are searching library databases, Google, and the Lavery Library Big Red Box.

Example for searching a database for "civil rights movement"

For example, a search for "civil rights movement" will search for that exact phrase instead of treating it as a search for civil AND rights AND movement. 

Here are two database searches. The one on the right uses phrase searching:two database advanced search boxes shown. on left, top box reads civil rights movement, middle box reads united states, and bottom box reads activists. On right, a highlighted image with a star shows top box reading "civil rights movements" with quotation marks, middle box reads "united states" with quotation marks, and bottom box reads activists

Examples for names and titles

Phrase searching is a useful search strategy when you search for a person's name, or a title. 

  • "Frederick Douglass"
  • "The Girl with the Louding Voice"

Do now: add quotation marks around key phrases on your concept map

Before moving on, want to see this step in action?