F&M College Library

CNX 206: Understanding Terrorism

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:
    • terror*   will search for: terror, terrors, terrorizes, terrorism, terrorist, terroristic
    • recruit*   will search for: recruit, recruits, recruited, recruiter, recruitment 
    • negotiat*   will search for: negotiate, negotiated, negotiating, negotiator 
    • psycholog*   will search for: psychology, psychological, psychologist


  • Use "quotation marks" to have multiple words searched together as a phrase:
    • "united states"
    • "foreign policy"
    • "religious terrorism"
    • "domestic terror*"


  • ​Use the word OR (in capital letters) to search for words with similar meaning -- always place within (  ):
    • (women OR female)
    • (disengag* OR leave OR quit)
    • (join OR motiv*)


  • Use the word AND (in capital letters) to combine different topics/concepts:
    • (women OR female) AND (join OR motiv*) AND terror*
    • education* AND (level OR attainment) AND terror*
    • "religious terror*" AND (unique OR different) 

Screencast: Search Statements (CNX 2xx)

While this Screencast was created for another CNX 2 course, all of
the strategies discussed are
relevant to any CNX 2 course!