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ENST 485 - Seminar in Environmental Topics

A guide for ENST 485 students researching environmental topics in the library and on the internet.

Introductory content

General Information:

As you work on your paper and presentation, keep the following tips in mind when searching library catalogs for books and research databases for journal, magazine, or newspaper articles:

  • Using more search terms will find fewer, more specific results.

For example, “wolves” finds more articles than “wolves and moose”, but not as many of the articles will be relevant to your topic if you want to know specifically how wolf predation affects moose populations.

  • Be as specific as possible.

For example, don’t use the term “predators” if you mean “coyote”, "cougar", or "falcon".

Remember to search for both singular and plural forms of your term(s), if appropriate.

Many words have both American and British forms.

  • If you are getting thousands of hits, you may need to add more search terms, or more specific terms.

  • If you are not getting enough hits, you may need to use fewer search terms or broader search terms.  Or, use an "asterisked" phrase, such as "ecolog*" to search for variations of the term, such as "ecology", "ecologic", "ecological", "ecologically", and "ecologist".

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