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Using Quotation Marks to Search


Quotation Marks (Phrase Search)

The way you type in the words for your search can affect the results of a search.

Quotation marks around search words

A phrase is created when you put keywords inside quotation marks. Search engines will find your words in the exact order you typed them.

Here's an example:

will find references to

Martin Luther King.  (All three words next to each other as in a phrase.)

If you typed that phrase in without the quotation marks around it, you would find results for the word Martin, the word Luther and the word King.  The article could talk about Martin Luther and then make reference to a king.  That is not what you were looking for.  Using the quotation marks limits your results just to Martin Luther King, those three words found next to each other. You can use quotation marks to surround words or names that you want searched as a phrase (words to find in the exact order you typed them--for example, "rap music").

If you don't use the quotation marks, some search engines will search for any mention of either word, resulting in sources that won't have the information you want.

Click here to go back to Choose Keywords

Quotation Marks (Phrase Search) Activity pdf

Quotation Marks (Phrase Search) Activity rtf

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