Developing a strong search strategy can save you time when it is time to search for resources. Rather than doing general searching using Google, we recommend that you search using the library databases. Searching Google is much different than searching library databases.
One facet of database searching that can be difficult to get used to is subject heading or keyword searches. Rather than typing a question in and expecting instant results, users need to focus on identifying and using controlled language searches.
Identifying controlled language for subject headings and keywords is beneficial for the savvy researcher. Controlled language is typically assigned by the Library of Congress and is then used universally (or at least in English) by vendors and publishers when identifying main points and ideas for their books, journals and other publications.
Once the controlled language for your topic is identified, database searching is usually much easier.
Language used on websites by various entities can often be arbitrary and inconsistent.
Below is a partial list of the topics provided by Professor Weber along with the official subject heading that goes along with it, as well as other suggestions that might be helpful to get started with your searching.
|Topic List||Subject Heading|
|Andrew Jackson's Presidency||
Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845
Presidents AND United States
United States. Indian Removal Act of 1830
Nullification (States’ rights)
|Salem Witch Trials||
Salem Village (Mass.)
Trials (Witchcraft)--MassachusettS--Salem--17th century.
Witchcraft AND Massachusetts AND Salem
|Dred Scott Decision||
Scott, Dred, 1809-1858
Slavery--United States-- Legal status of slaves in free states
Constitutional law AND United States
|Native Americans in the Seven Years War||
United States--History--French and Indian War, 1754-1763
Indians of North America
Five Nations OR Six Nations (use instead of Iroquois Confederacy)
Indians of North America--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
|Burning of Lawrence, Kansas||
Lawrence Massacre, Lawrence, Kan., 1863
Kansas--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Quantrill, William Clarke, 1837-1865
Jefferson, Thomas, 1732-1807
|"Star Spangled Banner"||
Flags--United States--Songs and music
Key, Francis Scott, 1779-1843
Star-spangled banner (Song)
|"Paul Revere's Ride"||
Revere, Paul, 1735-1818 AND Poetry
Lexington, Battle of, Lexington, Mass., 1775 Poetry
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882
|"Battle Hymn of the Republic"||
Battle hymn of the republic (Song)
Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910
Sailors AND United States AND History
Sailors AND Great Britain AND History
|California Gold Rush||
California AND Gold discoveries
Pioneers AND California
Gold mines and mining AND California
California History 1846-1850
|John Wilkes Booth||
Booth, John Wilkes, 1838-1865
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865 Assassination
United States--Politics and government 1861-1865
Fugitives from justice
If you need assistance understanding or locating subject headings for the topic you've selected, please stop in Dugan Library and ask one of our librarians! We would love to help you get started!