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WRIT 120I: Finding Refuge

Catalyst Books Search


Keywords and Subject Headings

Keywords are the words that you already use to describe what it is you are researching.  This may be your own vocabulary or it can be terms you discovered from doing some initial exploring or terms you found in a basic encyclopedia article.

Subject Headings
Subject Headings are terms that librarians apply to items in the catalog.  This is a controlled vocabulary meaning that they are published and you must use the proper syntax in order for them to work.  Their power lies in the fact that they are systematically applied so when you discover one that accurately describes your research topic, you can use it in a search and guarantee that you have found everything on that topic.

Here are some examples of Subject Headings appropriate for this class:

  • Wildlife refuges -- United States
  • Refugees -- United States -- Social conditions
  • Germany -- Emigration and immigration
  • World War, 1939-1945 --Refugees
  • Refugee camps -- Arab countries
  • Stateless persons -- Civil rights
  • Architecture and society
  • City planning --Social aspects
  • Shelters for the homeless


Another good research strategy is to find a book in the catalog and then go to that section of the library and browse.  Sometimes you can find things you may not have uncovered in the catalog by simply scanning the shelves.