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Shapiro Library

HIS 200 - Applied History

Research guidance and support for HIS-200 Applied History research assignments.

Search Tips


Use quotation marks around any important phrases that you want the database to find exactly. For example, search for the phrase Space Race as: "Space Race" so that the search engine will look for the two words next to each other in that exact order, rather than the two individual words separately in the article. This is also great for the names of historical figures. 

Use an asterisk (*) as a wildcard. The asterisk tells the search engine to find any variation of the word that starts with the same root. For example, if one of your keywords is biology, search for it like this: biolog*. The search engine will look for the words biology, biologic, biological, etc.

If you were researching the Space Race and the Cold War, here are some examples of what a good search strategy would look like:

  • "Space Race" AND "Cold War"
  • "United States" AND "Soviet Union" AND nuclear*
  • "Space Race" AND (political OR economic)

Any of these search strategies would be good to try in a library database. Be prepared to adjust your search as needed. No results? Try a broader search, perhaps one with fewer keywords. Too many results? Narrow your search by adding another keyword.