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)
    • (21st OR twenty-first)

  • 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)

HIS 132 Librarian

Lisa Stillwell's picture
Lisa Stillwell
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