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ANTH 155: Anthropology of Religion (HC)

Themes in the Anthropology of Religion: Ritual (Noonan-Ngwane/Fodde-Reguer/Gettleson) Spring 2020

Tips for Searching

If you search a catalog or database and receive a large number of results, add a limit or additional keyword in order to retrieve a manageable and relevant number of results to review.  At the same time overly narrow search terms can return too few results.  One way of solving both problems is to use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), which allow you to limit or expand searches depending on your needs.


For example, a search for ritual AND theory will return items that contain both "ritual" and "theory":


indigenous OR aboriginal returns items that contain either one of the terms or both:


magic NOT neo-pagan returns items that talk about magic but not neo-Pagan belief:

Phrase searching:

An important strategy to use when searching for phrases ("structural functionalism") or titles:

For example, "ritual and performativity"

will search for those words in that order.


Truncation and Wildcards:

Most catalogs and databases enable users to search variations of keywords by using truncation (*) or wildcard (e.g., ?, $, !) symbols.


For example, one could search for politic*  to find politic, politics, political, politicking, and so on.


Wildcard searches are for differences within words: a search for wom?n will return results for woman, women, and womyn.



Nested Searching:

When pairing two or more keywords with another keyword, it is important to "nest" the former terms within a larger Boolean search.

For example, (mythology OR cosmology) AND (methodology OR "case stud*") will return results for the union of the two topic areas.