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WSU 102 Culture, Health, and Medicine

Searching Tips

When searching databases or the Online Catalog, consider the following when entering your keyword search terms:

1. Pick your topic and develop your research question:

            What plants do various societies use as medicines?

2..Are there multiple terms that could be used for your topic?   

medicines - medicines - medicinal - healing - therapy
societies - cultures - peoples
plants - flora - herbs - ethnobotany
customs - practices - rituals - rites - ceremonies
traditional - alternative - local

3. Are there ways to "truncate" a term to pick up alternative spellings or singular/plural?

medic*        medicine, medicines, medical, medicinal
heal*           healing, healer, healers
societ*         society, societies, societal
cultur*         culture, cultures, cultural
practic*        practice, practices, practical    
Note: The most common truncation symbol used in databases is an asterisk *. The Online Catalog uses a question mark ?.

4. Use combinations of terms and perhaps truncated words when searching the databases.

            plants and societies and medicines
plants and cultures and use and medicines
          plants and societies and medic*

          plants and cultur* and medic*                              

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