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RELG 479: Christianity in Global Perspective

Searching Library Resources

Library tools use different language than the one we us everyday, so it's important to adapt our thesis statement or topic to the language that they will recognize. Here are some tips to help you create a good search strategy.

  • Think about your topic, what are the main concepts?
  • You can use a concept map to help you come up with your topic and relevant keywords.
  • Use the boolean operators below to combine your keywords together.
  • Select the best tool for your topic and begin your search.

Boolean Operators

  • Combines two concepts, both will be represented in the results.
  • Lowers the numbers of results
  • Ex: Pentecostal AND Africa
  • Joins two concepts or synonyms
  • Increases the number of results
  • Ex: Ghana OR Africa
  • Removes the results that include the word that follows it
  • Lowers the numbers of results
  • Ex: Ghana OR Africa NOT Egypt
  • Truncation symbol
  • All the words with the same root will be represented in the results
  • Use instead of plurals / can also replace a letter
  • Increases the number of results
  • Ex: Wom*n = will show results with woman and women. Pentecostal* will show Pentecostal, Pentecostalism, etc…


  • Used to clarify a search
  • Use around OR
  • Ex: (Ghana OR Africa) AND Pentecostalism

"Quotation marks"

  • Use to search for a phrase
  • "religious tradition"

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