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HIS 101 - Western Civilization to 1648 - Prof. Jackson - Fall 22: Search Strategy

Find your Keywords

When searching the the catalog and databases for sources, do not type in whole sentences.

e.g.Henry VIII, Henry the 8th, Henry Tudor

Narrow your focus by adding a sub-topic: Marriages; War with France; Church of England


Search Norse (broader) instead of Vikings

or Black Death (narrower) instead of Plague


Use the asterisk * to truncate words and widen your search. Crusad* will search for Crusade, Crusading Crusades and Crusaders.

Use quotation marks to keep phrases together: e.g. "Henry VIII" "Magna Carta" 


e.g. search  "Henry VIII" AND Annul* AND Marriage

 or Henry Tudor AND "Catherine of Aragon" AND Divorce

"Henry VIII" AND "Catherine of Aragon" AND Annul*

Try your search terms in different combinations to get the greatest number of results.


Include Country or Regional names to disambiguate: Henry IV of FranceHenry IV of England


King Henry IV of France

(1550 - 1610)

King Henry IV of England

(1367 - 1413)

Portrait of King Henry IV of France Portrait of King Henry IV of England













Pourbous, Frans the Younger. Henry IV, King of France in Armour. Ca.1610. Oil on canvas. Musee de Louvre, Paris.

King Henry IV. Ca. 1590-1610. Oil on panel. National Portrait Gallery, London.


Narrow Your Results


If you are finding too many articles on your topic here are some ways to narrow down your results:

Use the date limiters to look at only the past few years (5 or 8 yrs). You can change the date results before or after your search.


Some terms have multiple meanings and may return irrelevant results:

Viking = Mars Lander; Middle Ages = older people


Use additional or alternative keywords to focus your results

 Viking AND Norse; Viking and Medieval; Viking and Scandinavia


If you are getting too many irrelevant results (e.g. works about Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar or Handel's Opera Julius Caesar in Egypt) try adding keywords such as History, Biography, Civilization, Life


By Berig - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Detail of one of the Stora Hammars Stones, Gotland, Sweden.

Source: Berig. "Hammars (I)." [Photo]. Wikimedia Commons, 24 June 2008. Retrieved from Accessed 17 March 2017.

By Berig - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,


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