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Use this guide to find books, articles, databases, and other resources for research in Religion.

Search Strategies

AND / OR / NOT, known as Boolean Operators, are used to connect and define the relationship between your search terms. Use uppercase letters for Boolean operators within searches.


Narrows the search by telling the database or catalog to search for all records with both keywords. Use AND to connect the main concepts you want represented in your results.

  • college AND "social mobility"–will only find records with both words/phrases.


Broadens the search to include records with either keyword/phrase, or both. Use OR to connect synonyms or associated keywords relating to one of your main concepts.

  • college OR "higher education"


*Use only to differentiate between concepts or filter out results if needed.

Narrows your search. Tells database to find results that include the first word and exclude the second word.

  • cloning NOT sheep
  • Look at your question(s) - what are the keywords you will use to search?
  • Now that you have your keywords, write out some possible synonyms of each word or related concepts. 
  • Take notes of what you are using to search
  • Keep track of what databases you have used

For example, if you are searching for information on the Great Depression, you might also want to look for:

  • Dust Bowl
  • Black Thursday
  • Smoot-Hawley Tariff 
  • Economic Depression 

Adjust your searches by narrowing the focus or by combining research terms.

Once you type in your search terms, use the "Refine my results" list on the left-hand side to help narrow down your search by:

  • format
  • subject
  • publication date
  • and more!