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PHIL 497: Senior Research Seminar

Professor Robert Gressis



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To get more results, broaden your search.

  • Use fewer search terms. Look for words not unique to your topic that you could cut from your search string.
  • OR Use OR to link synonyms, so you get articles where the authors used other terms to describe the same concept. 
    • (law OR legal)
  • Use an asterisk to find articles using any of the variants of the same root word.
    • ethic* = ethic, ethics, ethical
  • Use more inclusive search terms.
    • Move from a specific philosopher to a school of thought  - too few results from Lyotard, try postmodern*
    • More general terms - too few results from beauty, try aesthetics
  • Search as many possible sources at once by using Google Scholar.

To get fewer results, narrow your search.

  • " " Use quotation marks to find exact phrases, when you need words next to each other in precise sequence to have the meaning you intend.
    • "property dualism"
    • "possible worlds"
  • Add more concepts to your search. Consider the who, what, when, where, why, and how.
  • Use narrower, more specific concepts or aspects of your original topic.
    • theism > pantheism
  • Search fewer sources, one top journal at a time.


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