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Foundations for Effective College Writing LAN 100s: Brainstorming Keywords & Search Terms

Mind Mapping




Subject headings, as defined by Library of Congress, are a way to link books together that are similar in subject content. By clicking on the links below you will be directed to a list of subject headings with the heading that you clicked listed first.  By clicking on the heading you will retrieve a list of books all with the same subject heading. You might also want to browse the subject heading list for related topics. 

Subject Headings are Like Hash Tags, they link all the like things together for you. So whether you are searching for #cutecatvideos on Instagram or Education, Special as a subject in the library search box you are retrieving just what you need.

Library Databases

Credible Sources

Use credible sources in multi-discipline and subject specific databases

Foundational articles with a broad overview can be found in multi-discipline databases and books.

Case studies and narrowed subjects are found in subject specific databases and books.

Search Techniques

Boolean Searching: You may already be searching this way and not know it. Here is how Boolean searching works:

  • AND: "Physical Fitness" AND "Christian Worldview"  searches for materials that contain both phrases
  • OR: "Physical Fitness" OR "Exercise" searches for materials that contain either phrase
  • NOT:  "Physical Fitness" NOT "Christian Worldview" searches for material on "physical fitness" that does not mention "Christian worldview"

Wildcard Searching:  Using an asterisk (*) or a question mark (?) while searching can be great ways of expanding your search or searching a topic multiple ways at once.

  • Asterisk searching: environment* (searches for environmental, environment, environments... all at the same time)
  • Asterisk searching: Politi* (searches for politics, political, politicians... all at the same time)
  • Question mark searching: wom?n (will search for both woman or women)