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Comparative Literature: Beginning Your Research

This guide is designed to assist those researching comparative Literature

Background Information Resources

Searching using Boolean Operators

Boolean operators are simple words that are used while searching databases. These operators are used to either include or exclude particular keywords in searches. Utilizing these phrases helps make your search more specific and helps eliminate results that are not relevant to your research goals. 


Discovery is a good starting point when beginning your research. The discovery tab is the default function of the search box on the LSU Libraries Homepage. An image of the Discovery box is seen below. 

discovery search box on the LSU libraries homepage

The Discovery function searches many databases, journals, news sources, and book titles for relevant results pertaining to your research topic. these results can be limited in various ways such as source type, date, full text, and relevancy. It should be noted, that the Discovery function may miss some relevant resources for your research. You should further your research, by utilizing specific databases that are tailored to your specific subject matter. 

Advanced Searching Strategies

Truncation and Wildcards

The advanced search feature allows you to refine your search with filters and other options.

You should also learn how to search using truncation and wildcards. 

Truncation allows you to search for terms with various endings.For example, searching libr* would pull up results for librarylibrarieslibrarianlibrarians, etc.

Wildcards let you search for terms with unknown characters or multiple spellings. For example, searching wom?would pull up results for woman, women, womxn, etc.

The symbols used for wildcards and truncation vary from database to database, but the Help section of each database will let you know which symbols to use.

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