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BIO 111: Ecological Biology (EcoBio): Tips & Tricks

Where to Begin

Once you have a topic, try to create a working title (thesis statement) for you paper.  This will help define your expectations as you research.

ex: I'm trying to discover the conncections between deforestation in the Amazon rainforest and the effect on climate change

As a result, you have focused your searching to the keywords: deforestation, amazon rainforest, and climate change

Looking for More?

Tips and Tricks

It always pays off, in reduced time and frustration, to review the help feature in each database.

Some examples:

Frequently Used Tricks

Boolean searching- AND OR and AND NOT

   AND- Narrows searches;  results contain both search terms (water AND pollution)

   OR- Broadens searches; results contain eaither search term or both (climate change OR global warming)

   AND NOT- Omits; results will not contain certain terms (atrazine NOT soil)

*note- use this option with caution as all results with "soil" will be omitted, even if it a comparison between atrazine levels in soil versus water

Truncation-  usually * or $

    * or $ are used to shorten (truncate) words to broaden results

Therm* will find thermal, thermic, thermistor, thermodynamics, thermometer, etc.

Wildcard- usually ? or &

    ? or & replaces a single letter

wom?n will find woman and women, analy?e will find analyze and analyse


*note-  check out the "help" menu for each database if you don't know which symbol to use

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