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Dance: More Search Tips

Smooth Operators: getting the most from search engines

Use of "AND" and "OR": Use of "AND" combines two important concepts. Using "OR" brings up items containing either of the search terms.


1. To find fewer: narrow the search with “AND”   2. To find more: broaden the search with “OR
Example keyword searches:

Modern AND dance*

“Martha Graham" OR "modern danc*”

Keyword or Subject Searching: which option to choose and why

Keyword searching vs. subject searching: From the library's homepage, type any search term and you have a keyword search. This is helpful for certain words meaning very specific things. "Choreography" is an example of a keyword that is not used in other ways. "Dance" means dance, but it also appears in expressions that have nothing to do with dance: Some of the results include the word "dance" but are actually about non-dance topics  (for example, the physics book Dance of the photons. A subject search for Dance eliminates such non-dance books from the search results.

  • Dance* as subject search leaves out non-dance items where "dance" is part of an expression in the title (for example, in a title like "the dance of international diplomacy" is not about dance)  (* picks up dance, dances, dancer, etc)
  • Dancer* as keyword search (* picks up dancer, dancers)

The Meaning of * (Wildcard)

* picks up any character after the end of the typed-in term. Very useful for words with many variants. For example danc* brings up dance, dances, dancing, dancer, dancers, dancer's, dancers', and more variants that may be on a library items' descriptions.