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Quotations & word forms

Double quotations limit the search to exactly what is within the quotation marks

"elementary school students"  Will retrieve results that contain exactly that phrase.

"students"  Will retrieve results that contain this word.  Without the quotes, both singular and plural uses of the word will be retrieved.

Wild cards & truncation

A wildcard is a symbol that serves as a placeholder within a search term. 

Use ? in EBSCO as a wildcard to signify a single letter.

Example:  pla?e  will retrieve plane, plate, place

Use # in EBSCO as a wildcard to signify one or two letters when there may be variant spelling.

Example:  col#r will retrieve color and colour

Truncation is a symbol that is placed at the end of the word or search term in order to retrieve a root with multiple endings.

Example:  mathematic* will retrieve mathematics, mathematical

                math* will retrieve math, maths, mathematical, mathematics

Search tips

Boolean logic and parentheses

AND:  Each result contains each search term linked with AND

  • mathematics AND elementary
  • manipulatives AND elementary

OR:  Each results contains one or any other search term, possibly all

  •   mathematics OR arithmetic 
  •   students OR children

NOT: Results do not contain the search term

  •   fractions NOT geometry
  •   statistics NOT probability

Parentheses makes Boolean more powerful, because it commands the search engine to retrieve results in order

(geometry and elementary school) AND manipulatives

The search within the parentheses is retrieved first, then the term outside the "nest" is searched for