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Search String Builder

Input keywords, phrases, and synonyms and get a perfectly-formatted search string.

Search String Builder

The Search String Builder is a tool designed to teach you how to create a search string using Boolean operators. This tool is not a database and is not designed to run a search for you, but you can cut and paste the results into any database search box or Google.

Step 1
Write out your research topic or thesis statement as a sentence.

Step 2

  Keyword 1   AND   Keyword 2   AND   Keyword 3
Extract the most important individual ideas (keywords) from your sentence above. Enter them in this row.    
List related or similar search terms for each keyword. One or two terms in each column is fine.

These can be synonyms, or they can be specific examples of the keyword.

Use single words or short phrases, meaning more than one word.

Put "quotation marks" around phrases.

Find additional terms in abstracts and summaries of the articles, books, and other sources you find during initial searches.
Search terms


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Search terms


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Search terms


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Step 3

Copy and paste the above Search String into a database search box or Google.

 

Search Strategy Builder created by University of Arizona Libraries, remixed by Virginia Tech University Libraries, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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