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Finding the right words
 

Finding the right words

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Presentation describing the pros and cons of key word and subject searching, particularly in the context of searching the library catalog at U of R.

Presentation describing the pros and cons of key word and subject searching, particularly in the context of searching the library catalog at U of R.

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    Finding the right words Finding the right words Presentation Transcript

    • Searching for the right words ENGL 100U: The Research Process Spring 2008 W. Sellors
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    • Learn the lingo
      • READ widely about your topic – preferably in the following order:
        • CQ Researcher
        • Subject-specific encyclopedias, books
        • Magazine, newspaper, and journal articles
        • Professional, government, and academic web sites
      • While you read, make a list of the words used to talk about your topic
    • Putting your word list to work…
    • Key word searching
      • Key word searches find sources in which your search word(s) appears somewhere
    •  
      • Streams
      • Brooks
      • Creeks
      • Rivers
      • Etcetera…
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    • Subject headings
      • Subject headings bring resources ABOUT the same subject together under a master heading
      • Unlike key words, subject headings ensure that the source is ABOUT the topic
      • In most library catalogs and databases, these headings are selected by people
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    • Remember, You Need a BOOK
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    • Advanced Search
    • AND vs. OR
      • Use OR to join similar terms so that your search returns results with ANY of those words
      • Use AND to combine terms that describe different aspects of your topic so that your search returns results with ALL of those words
      • OR increases the number of search results
      • AND decreases the number of search results
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    • Search Tips
      • Get out your word list
      • Skip the search box on the library home page
      • Instead, click on “UR Library Catalog”
      • Start with a “Subject Heading Keyword” search, putting phrases in “”
    • Search Tips
      • Too many results?
        • If you searched for one word (pollution) or two words without “” (water pollution), try using “” (“water pollution”) or + (+rivers +pollution)
        • Click on the Advanced Search tab so that you can combine subject heading keyword and key word anywhere searching
    • Search Tips
      • Too few results?
        • Shorten your search phrase – one or two words usually work best in a relatively small database like the UR catalog
        • Switch to a Keyword ALL search
        • Look at the detailed records of a few relevant results and click on the subject headings
        • Try other words from your list
    • In those notes you’re taking…
      • Highlight the subject headings
      • Draw a diagram of the words to show which ones are narrower terms for others
      • Re-search , comparing the results you get using various words and phrases until you find the most effective combinations
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    • Image Sources
      • Armstrong, Paul. “Headache” and “Right Back At Cha.” 7 Feb. 2007. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/wiseacre/>.
      • Durron, Questa. “Padme and the Crystal Ball.” 7 Feb. 2007. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/questa>.
      • Group of fireflies. 11 Oct. 2006. <http://www.painetworks.com/photos/ii/ii2026.JPG>.
      • Glowing firefly. 11 Oct. 2006. <http://www.worldbook.com>.
      • Ploughman, Lars. “A Dark Age for Yellow Pages.” 7 Feb. 2007. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/criminalintent/94440474/>.
      • Sandisk Cruzer flash drive. 11 Oct. 2006. <http://www.bestbuy.com>.
      • Stream. 11 Oct. 2006. <http://mooe.smugmug.com/keyword/all/stream/1/96509635>.
      • Williams, Malik. “Frustration” and “Hard Work. 7 Feb. 2007. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/brothaloveimages/>.