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Tips for Searching
The Diary of Opal Whiteley

1. What is a search? Doing a search gives you a list of all the paragraphs from the diary that contain the word or words you searched for. Each paragraph also has a link to the diary page it came from. This is useful for getting to the place in the diary you want to see.

2. A one word search: If you type a single word in the search box and click SEARCH, you will get a list of all the paragraphs in the diary that contain that word. Depending on how common your word is, that can be a lot of paragraphs! For example, think how many paragraphs contain the word "the"!

3. A multiple word search: Because one word searches often get so many hits, you may have a hard time finding exactly what you're looking for. You can get fewer hits, but much better ones, by adding more words to the search box. Now you'll receive just the paragraphs that contain ALL of your words. Here's an example: If you search for the word LITTLE, you will get 255 hits. But if you search for the two words LITTLE and GIRL, you will get only 24 hits!

4. A phrase search: You already know that if you type two words into the search box, you will get paragraphs that contain both words. Of course, your two words may appear far apart in the paragraph, instead of together like you typed them. If you want to find two or more words together, that is called a PHRASE search.

When you want to find all the paragraphs that have two or more words TOGETHER and in ORDER, do a Phrase Search. All you have to do is put quotation marks around your phrase, like this: "little girl". By typing quotation marks around LITTLE GIRL, you will only get 9 hits.

Here is an example from a real search:
If you type two words into the search box, you will find paragraphs containing BOTH words but NOT necessarily with the words TOGETHER. For example, searching for LITTLE and GIRL will give you paragraphs like these two:

"Tonight, after Larry and Jean started on, I turned again to wave good-bye. I remembered the first time I saw Larry and Jean, and the hit of poetry he said to her. They were standing by an old stump in the lane where the leaves whispered. Jean was crying. He patted her on the shoulder and said: "There, little girl, don't cry, I'll come back and marry you by-and-by." (Paragraph 34:)

"This is a most long recess. While here I do sit I do hear the talkings of the more big girls outside the window most near unto my desk. The children are playing Black Man and the ones more little are playing tag. I have thinks as how nice it would be to be having talks with Good King Edward I and lovely Queen Eleanor of Castile and Peter Paul Rubens and Brave Horatius and Lars Porsena of Clusium and Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus and Aphrodite. And I do think this is a most long recess." (Paragraph 61: )

See how the first paragraph has the phrase "little girl" but in the second, "little" and "girl" are there, but separated?

5. Search for parts of words: You may have noticed in the example above that the search term "girl" got the word "girls" instead. That is because you can search for part of a word, and you will get any word that contains that word. So, if you wanted to find all the paragraphs that contain GIRL, GIRLS, and GIRLISH, you would just type in the word GIRL. If you were to type in the word GIRLS, you wouldn't get back paragraphs that contain just GIRL, or any that contain GIRLISH.

6. Search within a search: Once you have the results of your search, you can search again for other words WITHIN THOSE PARAGRAPHS by using the Search button of your Web BROWSER.

7. Finding the right words: Sometimes the words you search for don't give you the right paragraphs you were looking for, OR ANY PARAGRAPHS AT ALL! This could be because the diary doesn't contain your chosen words. The search box on every page includes a Thesaurus, which can help you find words that mean the same thing as your word. If that still doesn't work for you, try looking through the KEYWORDS list. The Keywords List has all the important words in the diary. A link that will take you to the Keywords List is at the bottom of every Search Box. And there is a Search Box on EVERY PAGE!

Search the Diary by typing keywords you want to find into this search box:


and then click the "Search" button.

list of keywords

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Copyright 1999-2001 Center for Electronic Studying, University of Oregon.
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Last updated: . January 18, 2002