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SPAN 088: Pasados Desgarradores (SC): Get Started

Spanish 088: Pasados Desgarradores: Trauma y afecto en la literatura centroamericana de posguerra Fall 2014. (Nanci Buiza)

En busca de Latinoamérica

La Nacion

Strategies to Improve Searches

Find information effectively and efficiently with these strategies: all work in Tripod, and most work in search engines and databases as well.

Phrase searching:

Use this strategy when researching concepts that are phrases (e.g. Manifest Destiny or French Revolution), or when searching for a specific book or article (i.e. where you already know the exact title - e.g. Peasants Into Frenchmen).

  • For example, French Revolution will search for French AND revolution
  • However, "French Revolution" in quotation marks will search for only this exact phrase. This increases the chance that the books listed will discuss what you're interested in.

  • Beyond Tripod: Phrase searching works in Google and most databases (e.g. JSTOR, America, History and Life, Proquest)

Synonym Searching:

Save time by searching for multiple synonyms at once.  This is sometimes called "nested searching" or "set searching."

  • For example, (physician OR doctor) AND (woman OR female) will return results that match at least one term from each set of parentheses.  So in this case, you'd get results that contain either (or both) physician or doctor, and that also contain either (or both) woman or female.
  • Try set searching in Tripod by using Tripod Advanced search.

  • Beyond Tripod: Many catalogs or databases will have an "advanced search" option, which provides multiple search bars to facilitate nested searching. 

Truncation and Wildcards:

Most catalogs and databases enable users to search variations of keywords by using truncation (*) or wildcard (e.g., ?, $, !) symbols.  Consider using wildcard searching when there are multiple spellings of a word (e.g. globalization and the British spelling globalisation).

  • For example, one could search for politic* to find poltic, politics, political, politicking, and so on. (Google does this automatically.)
  • Wildcard searching works similarly: a search for wom?n will return results for women and woman.  (Note: this does not work in Google)



Putting it all together:
Try combining these search strategies to improve your search results.

Example: "French Revolution" AND (physician* OR doctor*) AND (wom?n OR female)

Subject Guide

Roberto Vargas's picture
Roberto Vargas
Contact:
McCabe Library, Swarthmore College.
500 College Ave,
Swarthmore, PA 19081
610-957-6107

Research help is available!

This Research Guide will point you to databases, books, primary sources, and other resources that may be useful for your project.

As a librarian with decades of experience with the research paper process I would be glad to help you navigate resources within and outside the library perimeters.  Contact me to schedule an office visit or send questions via email (pharris1). 

Here are some of the things with which I can help (other Swarthmore librarians can as well):

  • Finding information (scholarly articles and books, primary source documents, multimedia)
  • Searching specific databases
  • Improving your search skills
  • Citing sources and creating a bibliography (MLA)
  • Organizing your research (including using Endnote)