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Writing 111M: Twilight of the American Dream

Catalyst Books Search


Searching for books and media in Catalyst

Getting Started

The Advanced Search interface in Catalyst gives you many more options for creating a precise search. You can limit your results to a particular material type (book, CD, DVD, etc.), language, or range of publication years.

Search Tips

Use a keyword (also designated "All Fields") search if you aren't looking for a specific book, or if you wish to combine multiple ideas.

  • politics AND religion

Use an asterisk (*) to search for various endings of a word.

  • America* yields America, American, Americans, Americanization

Use "quotation marks" around words that you want to keep together as a phrase.

  • "United States"

Subject Headings

Skim the list of search results. Once you find a book that seems relevant to your topic, click on its title. You'll see the catalog record that lists information about the book, including subject headings. Every book in Catalyst is assigned subject headings. They will look like this:

  • National characteristics, American
  • Social mobility -- United States

Tables of Contents

Many of the books in Catalyst will display the Table of Contents in the "Details" area. That can be extremely helpful when trying to figure out if a book will be relevant to your topic. For example, a book about the recent history of Rwanda may have entire sections devoted to human rights violations even if those words aren't included in the title or the subject headings.