Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
site header image

Research Process: Phrase Searching

an introduction to the research process at a very basic level

Phrase Searching

Phrase search: search for words together in the order in which you've entered them.

  • Enter phrases within quotation marks.This will force the database to search the words together.
  • Some database automatically search for phrases, while others do not. 

Phrase Example: "social distancing"


  • Keep in mind that phrase searching doesn't always yield the best results.
  • Even though you may think of a topic as a phrase, the author may not.
  • If you searched a phrase and you think that you should have more results, use AND between your search terms instead of phrase searching.

  For Example:

"pediatric mental health"                   Search results 16

pediatric AND "mental health"           Search results 64

pediatric AND mental AND health     Search results 6544