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The IUPUI University Library building will be closed until further notice. Library services will continue virtually.

Find up-to-date information on new and ongoing virtual library services.


This is a general guide for students of English. Please contact the librarian if you have questions.

Getting Started

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Save yourself time & aggravation by answering the following questions & following the tips & techniques on this page

1.  What's my topic?
     Ex.  Sugared drinks are a main cause of the obesity epidemic

2.  What are my main concepts? 
     Ex.  1.  Sugared drinks;  2.  Obesity

3.  What are other terms or synonyms for my topics? 
     ExSugared drinks - soft drinks, soda, cola, juice, sport drinks;  Obesity -  obese, overweight, fat

4.  What types of sources or materials can I use? 
     Ex.  journal articles, magazine articles, newspapers, books

Other Tips

Truncation  - find all words starting with the letters you have typed.   Most common truncation symbol is the asterisk *
Ex. obes* = obese, obesity
      child* = child, childhood, childlike, children

Wildcard - used to substitute letters inside a word

Ex. wom*n = woman OR women
      colo*r = color OR colour

Exact Phrase - use quotation marks around your term to get that exact phrase

Ex. "high fructose corn syrup"

Field Searching - you can search specifically in the title, the abstract (summary), or by author.   
Most databases have pull down menus that let you select which field you want to search.