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Winthrop University

Dance: Search Tips

Keyword or Subject Searching: which option to choose and why

Keyword searching vs. subject searching:  In the search box on the library's homepage, type any search term(s) and you have a keyword search.  But you may get results that surprise you!  The keyword search "dance" will bring up results that include the word "dance" but are actually about non-dance topics (for example, the physics book Dance of the Photons, or The Dance of International Diplomacy).  A subject search for Dance eliminates such non-dance books from the search results.  You can specify a subject search in an Advanced Search.  

Smooth Operators: getting the most from search engines

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

Note:  If you put more than 1 word in the search box, the catalog assumes the AND and will look for items that include all your terms.  Also, in our catalog, operators must be capitalized.

Examples:

  1. To find fewer: narrow the search with AND - Modern AND dance*
  2. To find more: broaden the search with OR - "Martha Graham" OR "modern dance*"

Using " " (Quotation marks)

Putting quotation marks around words tells the system you are looking for that phrase, not the individual words.  A search for "Martha Graham" will find that phrase, whereas a search for the words Martha Graham will include results for (for example) Martha Franklin and Shirley Graham.  It's a way of narrowing your search and getting more relevant results.

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, and any other variant.