Spelling counts. However, especially with people's names and with non-Anglo names, there may be variant spellings, so try a variety.
For places and works that are non-Anglo, try searching using the local language e.g. for St. Paul Outside the Walls, try the Italian "San Paolo Fuori le Mura.
Try various ways of saying the same thing e.g for "St. Paul Outside the Walls", try also "Saint Paul Outside the Walls", and "Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls."
The order in which you enter your search terms does not matter in LibrarySearch but it does in Google.
There is no "rule" as to how specific or how general to make one's search. Try something, and if you get too many results or too few, make your next search more, or less, focused.
Generally speaking, when searching Google or LibrarySearch, be quite specific e.g. search for Mona Lisa da Vinci Art History. When searching the Library Catalogue, be very general e.g. instead of looking for books on the Mona Lisa, look for books on Leonardo da Vinci or on Italian or European art. When searching individual article databases be quite specific but not as specific as with Google or with LibrarySearch e.g. search for Mona Lisa da Vinci.
Google Books allows one to search every word of every book. The book itself may or may not be available online: if it is not, check to see if the VIU library has it and if necessary, request the item on interlibrary loan (a free service. Allow 2 weeks for delivery).
Key Article Databases
When searching individual article databases be quite specific but not as specific as with Google or with LibrarySearch e.g. search for Mona Lisa da Vinci.
Searches link to VIU resources where applicable. Search across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations.