English 110 Library Tutorial

Searching: Truncation & Phrases

Searching: Truncation & Phrases

Since many words have multiple forms, databases provide a tool called truncation. This allows you to search for all forms of a word at once. Notice that all of the words below can be shortened to the “root” they have in common. If you shorten a word in this way and add a truncation symbol (usually an asterisk) you force the database to search for and retrieve all forms of a word at once.

graphic of truncated words with various endings

What if your concept must be expressed in more than one word? Simply put that phrase in quotes, i.e., “Game of Thrones.” Doing this will ensure that your results contain those four words, in that exact order.

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