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MATH117 - Quantitative Reasoning - Professor Landry: Search Strategy

Develop a Search Strategy

Now that you have a Topic, you need to search for Sources. Use your Topic to define the Keywords you will use to find Books and Articles.

Think of new Keywords that are related to your Topic.

Euclid, Euclidean Geometry, Geometry, Elements; Euclid's Elements

Rhind Papyrus; Egyptian Number System; Egyptian Numerals; Numerical Notation; Number Notation


Since you are will be writing about a historical topic or biography, include keywords to help limit to those types of articles, e.g.:


History; History of Mathematics; Mathematics History; Ancient Mathematics; Biography


Try different Keyword combinations when searching.


Use AND to link terms together and narrow your search:

Mathematics AND History

 Use OR to link terms together and broaden your search:

Number System OR Numerals AND Egypt

Use the Asterisk * (truncation) to search for different forms of a word:

Math* searches for Math, Mathematics and Mathematicians

Use Quotation Marks to keep Phrases together:

"Number System"

Search and re-search

Once you've started finding articles on your topic (see the Finding Articles tab on where and how to search), look at the subject terms to get ideas of other keywords to search under. When you read the abstract, make note of additional terms to look up.


Presentation Visuals

Note: If you prepare a presentation (ppt, prezi etc), it should include informative visuals with citations:

Williams, Kylie, and Paul Scott. “Egyptian Mathematics.” Australian Mathematics Teacher, vol. 59, no. 4, Nov. 2003, p. 39. Academic Search Complete,


Not an informative visual:

"Numbers." This American Life, WBEZ, 2 Jan. 1998,