It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Winter 2021-22 Updates
Learning Commons spaces are open to students enrolled in winter and spring classes. ALL students & staff on campus are required to wear a mask.
One thing students struggle with is finding too much irrelevant information in the databases. This is because of one very specific problem: computers are literal. They will search for your words wherever they can, which means you might get a result that uses your words in a different context.
One way you can help them understand you is to use quotation marks in your search to ensure the database or search engine looks for those words together as a phrase. Be on the lookout for words that provide a specific meaning the word it comes before to after.
This table provides examples of words with multiple contexts and how you can use that information to change your search.
Words with Multiple Contexts
Words that Describe Previous Word
Type in search box, In quotes
high, elementary, charter
Olympic, video, board
cat, Woods, king, Detroit
The default searches for your words within the same element using the word "and". This means that both words must be present. So if you were looking for a pizza with pepperoni AND mushrooms, you would not want one with only pepperoni or only mushrooms. Both ingredients must be on the pizza.
The word "or" is used to tell the database that as long as one or the other of your words show up, you would like to see it. If you wanted pizza with pepperoni OR mushrooms, you would be given all the options that have either pepperoni or mushrooms, including those that have both pepperoni and mushrooms.
You can use the word NOT to tell the database that you want certain things but not other things. If you would be happy with pepperoni OR mushrooms on your pizza but olives gross you out, you can tell the database not to include them with NOT.