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ENGL 361: The New Black Arts Movement: Expressive Culture After Nationalism (HC)

Spring 2017 - Prof. Asali Solomon

Tips for Searching

An effective way of searching in catalogs and databases is to use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), which make it possible to retrieve relevant results and to limit and expand searches as needed. 

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


Resnais OR Holocaust returns items that contain either "Resnais" or "Holocaust" or both:

Resnais NOT Holocaust returns items that contain "Resnais" but not "Holocaust":

Phrase searching:

It's important to use quotation marks when you are interested in searching for a phrase of two or more words.

For example, Hiroshima Mon Amour will search for Hiroshima AND Mon AND Amour.

However, "Hiroshima Mon Amour" in quotation marks will search for Resnais' film of the same name.


Nested Searching:

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

For example, (memory OR nostalgia) AND Resnais will return results for Resnais and any one (or both) of the parenthetical terms. 

(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.

For example, searching for politic* will bring up results containing politic, politics, political, politicking, and so on.

Wildcard searching works similarly: a search for t??th will return results for teeth, tooth, tenth, and so on.

Searching on Tripod Articles

Tripod Articles allows you to search for articles across the databases in the Libraries' collections. Keep in mind that because Tripod Articles covers many databases your searches will often return a large number of results. Searching in smaller and subject-specific databases can often yield a more manageable and pertinent set of articles. 

On the Libraries home page, use the dropdown menu and select how you would like to search for articles (by keyword, title, author/creator, subject, in Abstract or ISSN number):

Use the filters on the left-hand side of the results page to refine your results by:

  • Full-text or peer-reviewed articles
  • Resource type
  • Date 
  • Author/Creator
  • Journal title
  • Subject
  • Collection

A filter can be removed, after it's been applied, by clicking in the "Remove Filters" box at the top of the column.