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Research Guides

WRR303: Digital Rhetoric

Basic Search

Basic Search is a simple interface that allows you to locate sources by entering any word or phrase. The University of Toronto Libraries landing page includes a version of Basic Search shown in the following image:

Search box with green line around it.

Basic Search also has a dedicated landing page as pictured in the following image: 

Search box outlined with green line

On this dedicated page, you'll see a tool for limiting your search results to one of four formats: Books, Journals, Articles, Manuscripts. Choose one of these formats or leave the tool set to All Items. 

Basic Search landing page with item format menu highlighted.

As you start typing in the search box, a drop-down menu will appear allowing you to choose the kind of search you prefer. Currently these options are Everything, Catalogue, or Course Reserves; as illustrated in the following image:

Choose the option that best reflects your research or information need. 

Everything Most searches start by using the everything search. If you want to see results that include book chapters and articles, you need to choose this option.
Catalogue If you are searching only for physical materials in a library, full ebooks, e-journals, or streaming media, use the Catalogue option. But note, while this option gives you more tools to refine you results, it does not include journal articles or book chapters.
Course Reserves Looking for course material? This option limits search results to those chosen by course instructors to be used for teaching.

Course Reserves Search

This Basic Search option returns a set of results that include course reserve items and tools for filtering by course and instructor.  

Basic Search in Course Reserve scope with filters for course and instructor on the left.

Entering Key Terms

The search you enter can be very simple, without using any expert techniques.

Basic search interface with the two word phrase Stonewall riots entered

If you are a more experienced researcher, Basic Search also allows you to use search operators that broaden or narrow your results.

Basic search interface with more complex search including Stonewall riots in quotations and Marsha P Johnson in quotations with both phrases separated by the world and in all caps

If you would like to learn more about using "search operators" to improve your results, visit the Using Search Operators page of this guide or book a consultation with a librarian.

If you would like additional options to help you narrow your search to the most relevant results, select Advanced Search.

Basic search interface highlighting location of Advanced Search button to the right of the search box