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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