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Searching Tips

Subject Searching Keyword Searching
  1. Using the appropriate subject heading for a topic will retrieve all items in the database indexed under that topic. The items will be about your topic.
  2. Try something simple, such as a single word. If the word you typed in is a subject heading, browse through the list of subject headings which start with that word and then have subheadings. This can give you more ideas for resources and help you break down your topic into more specific parts. See example.
  3. If you try and cannot find the appropriate subject heading for your topic, conduct a keyword search and look at the subject heading(s) of a relevant item. See example.
  4. If you are having difficulty finding a subject heading, try a variety of related terms (e.g., dance, dancing, dancers).
  1. Use keyword searching when your term may be very new, very distinctive, or jargon (e.g., weblog, RSS, work force literacy).
  2. Try a variety of keywords. There may be additional items on your topic that use different terms. See example.
  3. CAUTION: Be aware that you may retrieve items not related to your topic or items that are fiction when you need facts. See example.
  4. When you cannot remember the exact title of an item, do a keyword search using the title words you remember.
  5. Use fewer words rather than more. The more words you type in the more you limit your search. Search only the the words you really need. For example, instead of searching with "books about civil rights and Mississippi," use only "civil rights and Mississippi."


covers of books about movies showing the different words used, such as movies, films, cinema For example, if you are looking for items on the "movies",use additional keywords such as "film," "films," "cinema," or "motion pictures."

For example, using the keyword "cricket" ...  
... will retrieve items about the sport... cover of book about game of cricket
cover of book about crickets, the insect ... as well as the insect.


Chapter 2 — Page 7