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Legal research guide: Torts: How to search

Locate resources, including case law, legislation, journal articles and commentary relevant to the study of the law of tort.

Develop a search strategy

  1. Identify key concepts, words & phrases on your topic
  2. Identify alternative search words (synonyms) - use dictionaries & encyclopaedias for this
  3. Find introductory information to make sure you are using the right words - encyclopaedias are the best place to start
  4. Create relationships between words & phrases using search operators (Boolean) - AND, OR, NOT and quotes around phrases
  5. Select the resources to search
  6. Check the search tips in each database - they are similar but different across databases
  7. Depending on the results, refine the search if necessary
  8. Evaluate the reliability of sources found

Want More?

Check out the Composing a Search​ Guide

Or try out the Search Strategy Builder using Boolean logic, from the University of Arizona Library.

Why can't I just Google?

To find out why, watch this video presented by La Trobe University Law Library (licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND licence).

How to search using Boolean

To help refine your keyword searches it is recommended that you use Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT).  These operators help connect your search terms and are used to broaden or narrow your search results. Watch this video to find out how to use Boolean Operators:


Banner image source: Images 1, 3, 4, 5 licensed under a CC0 Public Domain license. Image 2 by Jürgen Schoner, licensed under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license.


 Except for logos, Canva designs or where otherwise indicated, content in this guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence