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COMP 1000 Basic Writing

Combining Your Keywords with Boolean Operators

Once you find your keywords, you then have to indicate the relationship between the keywords using Boolean operators AND, OR, or NOT.



  • AND finds results that contain all of the keywords
  • AND finds less results and helps narrow your search
  • Example Search: Strawberry AND Vanilla AND Chocolate will find results that contain all three flavors




  • OR finds results that contain at least one of the keywords (but not necessarily all)
  • OR finds more results and helps broaden your search (when you are not finding enough)
  • Example Search: Strawberry OR Chocolate OR Vanilla will find results that contain at least one of those flavors 





  • NOT excludes keywords from the results
  • NOT narrows your search but should be used cautiously to avoid accidental exclusions
  • Example Search: (Strawberry OR Vanilla) NOT Chocolate will find results Strawberry and/or Vanilla but excludes any results that mention Chocolate

(adapted from content created by Helen Hooper, Sharon Bryan, and Kylie Bartlett of James Cook University -- Writing Guide)