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

Lisa Stillwell's picture
Lisa Stillwell
For Spring 2021: I am happy to meet with you online! Please email me to schedule a time: lisa.stillwell@fandm.edu

If you prefer to speak by phone, please call this number, leave a message, and I will call you back! 717.358.3844