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AP Biology: Home

Resources for AP Biology Library Session

Finding too much information?

Try refining your topic/search by:

invertebrate aquatic animals
aquatic animals of the Long Island Sound
Developmental stage
aquatic animal larvae
aquatic animal gills
fresh water aquatic animals
Additional topic
aquatic animal physiology
Cellular or Metabolic Process
aquatic animal respiration

Searching for information on your topic

  • Define and refine your topic.
    •    Narrow or broaden your search.
  • Formulate your research questions.
    •  Factual Questions- You may need to investigate some factual questions before you begin your research. Some examples:   What does pH mean? What is the difference between abiotic and biotic factors?
    •  Research Questions – What do you want to know about your topic? Is your question researchable and answerable?
  • Identify library resources.
  • Find information on your topic.
  • Cite your sources.

Some Search Tricks

Here are some easy tricks that can help with your searching:

Putting an AND between words will search for BOTH words on a webpage or in an article.  When you do a normal Google search, you are doing an AND search.

EXAMPLE: immigration and employment will only give you web pages or articles that have both of those words.  This means you will get fewer results, but they should be better results.

Putting QUOTATION MARKS around a phrase will search for web pages or articles that have that exact phrase.  This is a very useful trick.  It will cut down on the number of bad results.  Be careful not to include too many words inside the quotation marks, because that's EXACTLY what will be searched.

EXAMPLE: “genetic engineering” will only give you web pages or articles with that exact phrase.  Other examples are "climate change," "no child left behind," "body image."

An ASTERISK (*) search is very useful when similar words are being used to talk about a topic.  It searches for all the various words using the same root.

EXAMPLE: comput* will give you articles that have the words compute, computer, computing, etc.  Or: educat* will search for educate, education, educator, educators, etc.

Putting an OR between words will give you articles with at least one of the words.  This will give you more results.  It can be useful when you're not sure which word is being used more.

EXAMPLE: fat OR obesity will give web pages and articles that have the word fat.  And it will give you web pages and articles that have the word obesity.

Use (Parentheses) to group multiple search terms together.  You're basically doing TWO searches at the same time.

EXAMPLE: debt and (teenagers or adolescents) will give you web pages or articles that have the words debt and teenagers and web pages and articles that have the words debt and adolescents.

Subject Guide

Clara Tran
Frank Melville Jr. Library C2620
(631) 632-1331