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University of Utah Library Guides
All University of Utah libraries course and research guides, in one place.

Pre-Law LEAP Fall 2020

The purpose of this course is to explore the meaning of community, especially as it relates to the American community as a whole and communities within the United States, and the relation of law to community.

Subject Specialist

Rebekah Cummings's picture
Rebekah Cummings
J Willard Marriott Library
295 South 1500 East
Digital Matters Lab
Skype Contact: @RebekahCummings

LEAP Professor

Dr. Ann Engar

Sill 146


EndNote Web

Everyone at the University of Utah is eligible for an account on EndNote Web. You can either access it at The very first time you login you will need to be at the University of Utah IP address (on campus).

Wikipedia, Google Scholar, and WorldCat

Advanced Search Strategies

  1. Pick your search terms - use single words or short phrases. Think of synonyms. Keep adding to your list as you search and get a better idea of what you are looking for. 
    1. Example: Gun control, Gun regulation, Gun rights, School shootings, Firearms, National Rifle Association (OR NRA), Second Amendment, Background checks, Parkland, Columbine, Assault rifle, "Right to bear arms"
  2. Put phrases in quotes (ex: "medical marijuana") 
  3. Use truncation when appropriate - educa* will put up education, educate, and educator. homeless* will pick up homeless and homelessness. 
  4. Use Boolean Operators - AND, OR, or NOT (ex: Pets NOT dogs; "voter disenfranchisement" AND "Civil Rights Act") 


  1. Boolean Operator: AND

    • Finds sources containing two or more ideas
    • The database will only retrieve items containing both words
    • AND narrows your search
    • You can use AND many times in one search
    • Example: electronic AND voting
    Boolean AND 


    Boolean Operator: OR

    • Use OR when searching for synonyms
    • OR tells the database that the words can be used interchangeably, so it will retrieve items containing either word
    • OR broadens your search to include synonyms and related words
    • You can use OR many times in one search Example: electronic OR internet OR web
    Nesting search terms using: parenthesis ( )
    • Make a complex search using both AND and OR by placing parentheses around synonyms so you don't have to repeat searches
    • Nesting saves you time by allowing you to search multiple synonyms at once
    • Example: (electronic OR internet OR web) AND (vote OR voting) - this cuts down on having to do multiple searches for the combinations of keywords

    Boolean OR

    Boolean Operator: NOT

    • Use NOT when you wish to exclude records from your search results 
    • Example: pets NOT dogs
    • Be careful when using NOT! The term you want may be present in an important way in results that also contain the word you wish to avoid   

What are databases and why do you need them?

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library