Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Link to CSU Home
Link to CSU Home
Students in the Library

Michael Schwartz Library

Students in the Connection Lounge
Michael Schwartz Library

SPH 431: Basic Speech Disorders: Keywords/Boolean Searching

This guide contains resources to help you with your research assignments.


Before you start searching, you need a research topic or research question. Break your topic or question down into keywords or search terms. Think of synonyms and related terms, as well as broader terms and narrower terms. You will search on different keywords and combinations of terms to find information. Combine your keywords with Boolean operators or Boolean connectors -- AND, OR, NOT. Review your results to identify additional keywords, and then go back and search again. Pay attention to medical terminology, too!

Boolean Operator: AND


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


children AND speech disorders

dysphagia AND stroke

preschool AND language




Boolean Operator: 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


autism OR autistic

dysphagia OR swallowing

treatment OR therapy

Boolean Operator: NOT


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


disabilities NOT intellectual

impairments NOT language

teachers NOT special education



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


(autism OR autistic)


(treatment OR therapy)



(liquids OR fluids)