WMST/RELS 275I - Women and Religion

Search Tips

Always remember that you can search either by using keywords (words that you consider to be the best representation of what you are looking for) or subject headings (terms that are part of the catalog's controlled vocabulary). While we can always come up with new keywords depending on our own preference, we have to search for the right subject headings in the catalog's index.

General Searching Tips

Do not use “natural language” phrases in your search.

For example, “what is the old testaments view of sexuality?” will not retrieve many articles. Instead, use keywords combined with Boolean operators. ("old testament” AND sexuality)

Boolean operators you will use most often are AND and OR (always capitalize)

   AND focuses or narrows a search: women AND religion will return results that have both words.

   OR broadens or expands a search to find one term or the other or both. Use OR to search for synonyms or related concepts: women OR females

   NOT tells the database to eliminate a word that is not relevant to your topic: religions NOT buddism will return results on all religions except buddism.

* An asterisk can be used in many databases as a truncation symbol. With it your search will retrieve a root word with multiple endings: child* will find child, children, childhood, childrearing, etc.

“ “ Quotation marks create a phrase to tell the database that you want to search a group of words as a phrase in a particular order: “old testament” will find only that phrase in that order.

( ) Parentheses nest words so the database searches them in the right order. “old testament” AND (women OR females) tells the database to look for the words in ( ) first and then to combine that set with "old testament".

Meriam Library | CSU, Chico