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LRAC Legal Research Class Site

Terms and Connectors Searching - Keep It Simple - Westlaw

Although it is possible to formulate elaborate searches, most research needs are met by relatively simple searches.

Many searches follow the pattern of: keyword /S keyword /S keyword

Just try to keep a few things in mind as you formulate simple searches.

Westlaw Example

After thinking of some likely keywords:

  • Type nouns in singular form
  • Truncate your verbs
  • Put some connectors between your keywords

If your initial search doesn't work, try some alternative terms for your keywords.


Search Within Results Field

When you use Citing References or Key Numbers to find additonal cases on your topic, you sometimes need to use the Search within Results field to narrow down your documents to a narrower topic.

Any search typed into the Search within Results field is interpreted as a terms and connectors search.

Westlaw Example

You have found a useful case about statutory liability for dog bites regardless of knowledge of propensity for violence. You decide to use it to find other cases on the issue in other jurisdictions. You are specifically interested in cases about dogs on leashes.