When using google.com or other search engines, target your search using these techniques:
Use quotation marks ( " ") around phrases with morethan one word. Example: "alexander the great" or "the old oaken bucket." This tells the search engine that you only want hits with only those words in that exact order.
Use the plus sign (+) or boolean (AND, NOT, OR) to string words together. Google uses the default AND if you leave a space between your search words. However, if you aren't having any luck searching when typing more than one word in the search bar, or you're not in Google, try using the + sign in front of each word or "and" in between the words. Example: +hitler +biography. This will limit your results to biographical information about Hitler. Another example: +panthers +animal. This will exclude all the sports-related or politically-connected panthers.
Use the plus sign, minus sign (or boolean) and quotation marks together. Example: +hitler +"invades Ethiopia" will target only those sites that have information about Hitler’s invasion of Ethiopia.
Do not use unnecessary words in your search. Do not use words such as "a," "an," "in," or "the" unless the word is part of a phrase within quotation marks. Example: in the quoted phrase "around the world in eighty days" using "the" and "in" is ok. However, if you were searching for information on the planet Saturn, do not type: the planet saturn. Type: +planet +saturn.
By typing an * at the end of a keyword, you can search for the word with multiple endings. Example: if you type wish*, your hits will include wishes, wishing, wished, wishful, etc.
When searching databases that have newspaper,magazine, or journal articles,check a box on the search page that says something like "full text only" or "limit to articles with text only." That way, all of your hits will bring up full articles. If you don’t check this box, you’ll get only descriptions of many articles, not the entire articles.