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Research Process: Basic Search

This tutorial aims to help develop effective library research skills and critical thinking skills in all courses at Prince George's Community College.

Basic Search

The Basic Search is the default screen for the online catalog.

You can:

  • enter keywords as a phrase in double quotations ("")
  • enter essential words with a plus (+) in front of them
  • use an asterisk (*) in front of important words
  • truncate (?) for variant spellings
  • add Boolean operators to keyword searches

The basic search also allows you to limit your search in two different ways. Use these options to narrow or widen the scope of your search. 

Within Dropdown Menu

  • Title: this option will search the title of materials that match your search terms/keywords
  • Subject: this option will search subjects that match your search terms/keywords
  • Journal Title: this option will search journal titles that match your search terms/keywords
  • Author: this option will search authors names (last name, first name)
  • Call Number: this option will search the call numbers 

Limit To Menu

  • All Materials: this option will search all materials that match your search terms/keywords
  • 2006 and After: search for materials that were published or produced from 2006 and onward.
  • English Language materials: search for materials in the English language 
  • Videos: search for materials in DVD or VHS format 


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