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Truncation Made Simple

  • Step One: List the keywords from your research topic
  • Example: woman’s, female, women, women's, education, college, university

  • Step Two: Decide which words could be eliminated through truncating them. The usual symbol is the asterisk.
  • Example: wom* would search the database for woman's, women, women's

    Combining truncation with keyword and boolean searching is a very effective method of research. You are basically telling the database that you want everything that contains a particular word root, thereby increasing the chances that the search will have good results.

    The key to using the truncation method of searching is to incorporate it into boolean. For example: wom* AND education. As you can probably figure out, if you simply entered wom* in the search box of a database, you'd probably get a few hundred hits!