Oliver Wendell Holmes Library Catalog
|Typically, when you search, you will use keywords. Simply enter the basic ideas/keywords of your topic in the search box. The computer will search for books containing those keywords in the title, subjects, and descriptions of the books.|
|Subject searching is more powerful than keyword searching. It allows you to use a specific vocabulary to find books in the catalog. To find a good subject, look at the display page of a book you already like. Click on the subject link to run a search|
Reference books are a great place to start your research, since they provide background information such as topic overviews and definitions. Use Reference Universe to help start your research. For in-depth research in your topic, use the tab to search the library's online databases for journal articles and the Finding Books tab to search the online catalog for books.
Reference books should only be used for an overview, and not as one of your major sources. Because reference book articles are short, you are not going to find the level of detail required to write a successful paper.
Circulating books offers more specific information on one major subject with lots of details in its further subdivision. You may also find lots of supporting materials via facts, personal experience or survey as well as possible some statistics. It takes you to a deeper level of research.
Besides the main content of a book, the parts of a book itself can provide information useful for research. The main parts of a book include:
Table of Contents: An outline or breakdown of the different chapters of a book.
Bibliography: The list of works used in the research of the book; useful for finding more informaiton on a topic.
Index: The list of key words, often including people and place names, used in the book and the page numbers for where those words appear; typically the last section of a book. Useful for knowing whether a specific person or term is referenced within the book.
Other possible sections include:
Appendix: The part or parts of a book that provide additional information to the main text; usually found near the back of the book.
Glossary: The section that defines key terms used in the book; usually found near the back of the book.