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.

Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics & Science: Library Resources

Resources for Massachusetts Academy Students

Be Persistent with Keywords

Often, the first keyword search you try will not yield relevant results. Do not be discouraged if this happens - it happens to all of us (even librarians)! The key is to be persistent and creative. If your first search doesn't work, try searching for synonyms or related terms.

Search Tips

Search tips for WPI Library Search:

  • Connect your keywords using the word AND.
    • Example:
      • velociraptor AND fossils
  • Search for synonyms using the word OR. Nest your synonyms in parentheses.
    • Example:
      • (velociraptor OR dromaeosauridAND fossils
  • Use quotation marks around phrases.
    • Example:
      • ​​communication strategies” OR “methods of communication” 
  • If your search topic has an acronym, search on both the acronym and the full phrase.
    • Example:
      • CDC OR Centers for Disease Control and Prevention"
  • Use the * symbol to search for words that have the same beginning letters:
    • Example:
      • Search for educat* to find results for educate, educator, education, etc. 

Background Information: Encyclopedias

Use encyclopedias to:

  • Find background information on your research topic.
  • Gain ideas to help you narrow down your topic.
  • Gather keywords to use in other databases.