Unit 4: Search Methods
Lesson 5: Phrase Searching
Phrase searching is a way to find records that contain an exact phrase: terms that are located side by side, and in a specific order. Phrase searching allows you to locate terms that have a distinct meaning when put together as a phrase, as opposed to individual keywords that do not have to be located right next to each other.
To conduct a phrase search, simply place your phrase in quotation marks. For example, the search phrase “public safety” will locate all records with the phrase “public safety.” However, entering the terms public and safety as individual keywords will separately locate these terms.
- “animal experimentation”
- “civil rights”
- “sex education”
- “war crimes”
- Some online search tools use brackets to search for phrases
- Review the Help function of online search tools to learn what symbols to use
- Edison State College Libraries’ online catalog uses quotation marks for phrase searching.
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