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UST 410/510: Proposal Writing: Boolean Searching

This Research Guide contains resources to help you with research assignments in Professor Rittenhouse's Proposal Writing class.

BOOLEAN SEARCHING

  • Logic used in online searching
  • Use Boolean operators to combine search terms in library catalogs, research databases, and search engines
  • The most common Boolean operators are:  AND, OR, NOT

Boolean Operator: AND

AND


  • Use AND to connect your main search terms
  • AND limits results by requiring all terms to be present; fewer items are retrieved

Examples:

philanthropy AND United States

poverty AND Cleveland

homeless veterans AND housing


Boolean Operator: OR

OR

  • Use OR to connect synonyms or related terms
  • OR expands results since only one of your search terms needs to be present; more items are retrieved

Examples:

capital punishment OR death penalty

jobs OR employment OR unemployment

law enforcement OR police

Boolean Operator: NOT

NOT

  • Use NOT to exclude a term; fewer items are retrieved

Examples:

government NOT federal

pollution NOT water

poverty NOT Cleveland

 

NESTING

Try NESTING your search terms by using both AND & OR:

Examples:

grants

AND

(reading OR literacy)

bullying prevention

AND

(assessment OR evaluation)