I'm Finally On-line, Now What? Searching Techniques and Strategies

A wildcard is a special character that can be added to a phrase while searching and the search engine or subject directory looks for all possible endings. The results will provide all possible documents in their database that have those letters.

For example:
"autom*" results: automatize, automobile, automatic or automotive
"educat*" results: educator, educators, education or educational
"profess*" results: profess, professor, profession, professional or professionalism

Plus and Minus Signs The Plus sign used before a keyword or phrase should retrieve results that include those specific keyword or phrase. The minus sign used before a keyword or phrase should retrieve results that exclude those specific keyword or phrase. When using Alta Vista, Infoseek, and Excite there are no spaces between the keyword and the plus and minus signs. HotBot, Lycos, Goto, and Webcrawler doesn't specific one way or the other
Quote Marks and Brackets Quotation marks and brackets assist with narrowing the search results from the search tools. When the user uses the quotation marks or brackets the search engine will only retrieve documents that have those key terms appearing together.

"Technology and lesson plans" or [Technology and lesson plans]
Results: words will be treated as exact phrase

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Ohio Literacy Resource Center - Celebrating 10 Years of Enhancing Adult Literacy 1993-2003 This page http://literacy.kent.edu/Oasis/Workshops/finally/techniques.html
and is maintained by the OLRC WWW Development Team.