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Special Education

Determining Relevant Sources

What important factors should you consider when looking at information? What makes information "good" or "bad" for your current purpose?

                                               Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose

Boolean Operators

Boolean Operators link concepts and are used to broaden or narrow your search. Briefly, here's how they work:

AND - finds results with your all search terms.  AND narrows your search.

OR - finds results with any of your search terms.  OR broadens your search.

NOT - finds results with only one of your search terms.  NOT narrows your search.

Phrase Searching, Wildcards and Truncation

Phrase Searching with Quotation Marks

Surround your search term or phrase by quotation marks like, "elementary school" so that the words appear as an exact phrase. 



Wildcards are used when you are unsure of a particular spelling or if there are alternate spellings of your search term. The most common wildcard symbol across databases is the "?". The wildcards work a little different within each database, but the common function looks something like this:

If you type: The database will return:
 col?r records containing color, colour, colonizer, and colorimeter 



Similar to wildcards is the truncation function. Truncation is also used when you are unsure of a spelling or only know part of a search term. The common truncation symbol across the databases is the "*". What the * does is it begins searching for any words that begin with the letters you've typed, but may end in many different ways. It looks something like this:

If you type: The database will return:
educat* records containing educate, educates, education, educated, etc.
teach* records containing teach, teacher, teachers, teaches, teaching, teachability, etc.