Module Two


Identifying keywords is only the first step to effective searching. The secret to finding information efficiently is in the way you combine keywords when searching. Most databases allow you to search using Boolean Logic. Boolean logic refers to the logical relationship between search terms, and uses these three operators, or connectors:

AND chain OR chain NOT

These connectors link together two or more terms to either narrow or broaden your search.
The following Venn diagrams demonstrate how these connectors work to control your search.

  • narrows your search
  • both terms must be present
  • fewer results
  • retrieves information which contains both the words
    advertising AND teenagers
AND Venn diagram
  • broadens your search
  • only one of the terms must be present
  • often used with synonyms as search terms
  • retrieves information which contains either of the words
    advertising OR marketing
OR Venn diagram
  • narrows your search by excluding terms
  • retrieves information in which at least one term is excluded
  • for example, results will contain information about
    advertising but NOT television advertising
NOT Venn diagram

In all of the above examples, only results represented by the darker purple will be retrieved.

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