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Drop-In Library Support Sessions: Week 1

Resources on search strategies, doing a literature review, getting the most out Google Scholar and APA 7 Referencing from library support drop-in sessions in November 2020.

Week 1: Search Strategies

Week 1 is all about search strategies - how to plan your search, how to execute it and how to save your work. Literature searching is a big part of essay writing, and learning a few tips and tricks will make it easy to find relevant, high-quality books and articles on your essay topic.

Watch a recording of this week's lesson below.


When writing an essay, do you plan your search ahead of time?
Yes: 2 votes (40%)
No: 3 votes (60%)
Total Votes: 5
Do you know what a Boolean Operator is?
Yes: 0 votes (0%)
No: 4 votes (100%)
Total Votes: 4
Have you ever used the "save this search" feature on MIE search or a database?
Yes: 1 votes (20%)
No: 4 votes (80%)
Total Votes: 5

If you answered no to one or more questions, then this guide is for you! Keep reading to find out more.

What are Boolean Operators?

One of the most effective ways to maximize the effectiveness of your search is to use Boolean operators. These are short terms that you use between keywords that give the database different specific instructions. You use Boolean operators to either broaden your search results, giving you more results, or narrow your search results, which gives you fewer results. There are three Boolean operators; AND, OR and NOT.

They are called Boolean operators, because they are named for the mathematician who coined the terms; George Boole. Click the image of George to learn more about him!

Using Boolean Operators


And narrows your search. Your results include only results which have both terms


Or broadens your search. Your results include only results which have either term


Not narrows your search. Your results will exclude the term you have specified

PDF Handout

Online Resources











Use a thesaurus to find synonyms and related terms for the keywords in your essay title. The Collins English Thesaurus is a comprehensive, trustworthy and easy-to-use online resource, and has been researched and written by experienced lexicographers from across the globe and reflects all varieties of world English.

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