When you make a sandwich, you add ingredients in the order that works best: bread first, then mustard, then the fillings. When you do a computer search, you also should plan to search terms in an order that will bring you the best results.
First, make a list of all the words you can think of that relate to your topic. If you’re searching for rattle snakes, you might include on your list: rattle snakes, snakes, poisonous snakes, reptiles, cold-blooded animals and desert animals..
Next, prioritize your search terms, in other words, search the terms that are most closely related to what you want first (rattle snakes, snakes and poisonous snakes). If you don’t get good results, try searching the less specific terms next (reptiles, cold-blooded animals, desert animals).
Video summary (PDF): multcolib.org/sites/default/files/MCL_MessySandwich.pdf
Presented by the Midland Library Teen Council, Multnomah County Library
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