F&M College Library

HIS 132: Latin America and its People

Search Statement Examples

Here are some strategies for search statement language for searching in library databases:

  • Use an * to search for multiple forms of a word in a single search:
    • coloni* = will search for: colonial, colonization, colonists, colonialist(s), etc.
    • econom* = will search for: economic, economy, economies, etc.
    • democra* = will search for: democracy, democratic, democratization, etc.


  • Use "quotation marks" to have multiple words searched together as a phrase:
    • "el salvador"
    • "state formation"
    • "cuban missile crisis"

  • ​Use the word OR (in capital letters) to search for words with similar meaning -- always place within (  ):
    • (women OR female)
    • (18th OR eighteenth)
    • (urban OR city)

  • Use the word AND (in capital letters) to combine different topics/concepts:
    • mexic* AND independen
    • peru AND ("state formation" OR "state building")
    • nicaragua AND econom* AND (19th OR nineteenth)

Screencast: Intro and Search Statements

While this Screencast was created
for another class, all of the strategies discussed
are applicable for this class!

HIS 132 Librarian

Profile Photo
Lisa Stillwell
Shadek-Fackenthal Library #204