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MLNG 301: Books | Ebooks

A research guide for your exploration: what is culture?

Search Techniques


Be elastic & be specific. Both are necessary. Narrow down your topic when your topic is too broad or when you find too much information. Expand your topic when you do not find enough information. You can also use the following techniques in database searching to refine, clarify, or define your topics. 

Search Examples: Experiment with search techniques below in journal and book databases

          gun control AND Laws
           gun control AND policy AND Europe
           (United States or Europe or Germany)

           anti-muslim ban AND United States
           Muslim AND (Patrol or Patrol) AND (British or Britain or UK)
           patrol AND Muslim AND neighborhood)
           (patrol or policing) AND Muslim AND community

immigrants AND cultural adjustment 
           generational conflict AND immigrant families 
           "business culture" AND United States AND Japan

Search Techniques

  1. AND -- to narrow down/refine a topic by combining words together

    Policing AND Muslim Communities

    DACA AND legality 

    Stress AND meditation  
  2. OR -- use nested search to include synonyms or related words

    (neighborhood or community)
    (Police or Policing)

    (DACA OR Undocumented students)

    (cultural adjustment OR acculturation)
  3. "   " -- use double quotes to search words as a phrase and to make searches more precise.

    "Dream Act"
    social change

  4.  -- use asterisk to truncate words so you can retrieve letters after the truncated stem word

    child* --> retrieves child, children, childhood, etc. 

    legal*--> retrieves legal, legality, legalization, etc.

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