George Boole was a 19th Century British mathematician who believed that all values can be reduced to values of true or false.


We use the operators AND, OR, NOT to achieve this result.


OR – when we want to find any page with the two words on it, or any page

with either of the two words – OR expands our search.

AND – when we want to find only Web pages that have both the words.

AND narrows the search.

            NOT – excludes a word. It says give me one word but not the other.




            Type all search keywords in lower case, and the operators in upper case. There should be a space between the words and the operators.


The following shows the different results when the operator is changed:


College OR University:


            To find AT LEAST ONE we search for both college and university since either of the words might be relevant. OR is most often used when searching for words that mean the same (such as college OR university). The more terms we combine with OR, the more records we will retrieve.


Poverty AND Crime:


            To find BOTH search terms. We will not receive any records that contain only Poverty or Crime. The results MUST contain both words. The MORE terms we combine with AND, the fewer records we receive.


            On some search engines, you can also use NEAR. This is a proximity operator which determines the closeness of the terms within the document. For example, Poverty w/10 Crime will return documents that have the word Poverty within 10 words of the word Crime.


Cats NOT Dogs:


            We will receive only records in which ONLY ONE of the terms is present. No records are retrieved where the word Dogs Appears.


GROUPING OPERATORS:  Enclosing your phrase in quotes. This forces the search engine to treat the phrase as a single unit.


PROXIMITY OPERATORS: forces the engines to find the page where one value is in a particular proximity to the other. “near,” and “adj” (adjacent)


“near” is usually within 10 or 20 words – For example: special house committee = 758,000 hits

special house near committee = 170,000 hits


The “adj” operator works the same way. “race AJF car” finds pages where race and car are adjacent to each other.


TRUNCATION: uses * as a wild card.


FILTER:  Filters are special fill-in boxes located on some of the search engine sites, which allow you to affect the search without using any operatives.


DRILLING DOWN: The act of working your way down through a Directory.


CUT AND PASTE: Go to Word. Highlight and block a paragraph to copy it into an e-mail or another Word document. Go to “Edit” on the tool bar, click “Select All”. Move to the location where you wish to place the copied text. Right-click “Paste”.


CUT AND COPY A URL: Select the URL and right-click the mouse – click “Copy” and move to the place to want to place the URL and click “Paste”.


Highlight with left mouse, but select with the right button.

Then go to your document and Paste.


SEARCH WINDOW: The box in front of the word “search”


SEARCH STRING: What you type in the search box. Can be anything – numbers, letters – the computer sees a string of characters and looks for that string of characters.


Your search comes back with a RESULTS PAGE – a Web Page containing the results of your search (probably several pages)


HITS: The number of responses on the results page.