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Google Tips & Tricks: Home

Learn how to maximize your use of Google for research purposes.

Google & Google Scholar

This guide provides you with links and resources to help you get the most out of using Google. Please contact us if you need further help or would like to speak with a librarian about using Google more effectively.

Google Search Box Tips

Use a hyphen or minus symbol (-) in front of words you want to exclude from your search

  • Example: Martin Luther –King

Use a tilde mark ( ~ ) to search for a word AND its synonyms

  • Example: music ~lyrics

Use quotation marks to search for a phrase

  • Example: “immigration reform”

To have Google “fill in the blank,” use an asterisk ( * )

  • Example: “like a rolling stone” was written by*

Use “OR” to get results that contain either word or phrase

  • Example: “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar” OR “Lew Alcindor”

Use “define:” to get a definition of a word or abbreviation

  • Example: define: folk music

Use “related:” to find similar types of websites

  • Example:

Make conversions and do math calculations

  • Examples: 250 euros in US dollars, 20 degrees C in F

Search by specific site or domain

  • Examples: climate change, business report

Place symbol (@) before the social tag you’d like to search for

  • Example: @CSUNIV

Search popular hashtags for trending topics

  • Example: #Election2020

Search for a specific file type

  • Example: educational technology filetype:pdf

Search within a URL

  • Example: inurl:autism

Google Advanced Search

Google's Advanced Search provides more options than the familiar one-box. For example, you can limit your search to:

  • specific language
  • specific region
  • file type (.pdf, .doc, .xls, etc.)
  • site or domain (, .gov, .org, etc.)
  • ...and more

Google Scholar

Google Scholar searches for articles, patents, and legal documents. Be aware that what Google Scholar considers "scholarly" may not necessarily fit the typical definition.

Here are some things to look for when you do a Google Scholar search:

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Charleston Southern University Library