What is truncation? How can I use it to improve my searches?

Truncation is a wild card symbol--usually an asterisk*--that allows you to search for multiple endings of the same root word.  Examples:

teen *     Canad *
teen s   Canad a
teen age   Canad a's
teen aged   Canad ian
teen ager   Canad ians
teen agers   Canad arm

Truncation broadens your search to get more results, but it can also bring back results that aren't necessarily related to your topic (ie. Canadarm for Canad*).

 This technique works in most databases including Google, but not in the library catalogue.

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