Using keywords effectively is an important step in learning how to find books on your topic.  Here are several tips:

1. When you search in the library catalog, keep your keywords simple.

2. Think about keywords that best describe your topic.

3. Circle the important concepts in your topic sentence or research question.


4.  Brainstorm different ways to express those keywords. For global warming, you might use related terms or synonyms such as “climate change” or ”rise in temperature.” Different combinations of words will get you different results, so try a variety of searches.

5.  When you find a relevant book, click on the blue book title and scroll to the middle of the page to view the subject headings


6.  Click on a relevant subject heading to find more books on your topic.

7.  Finally, when you go to find the book on the shelf, look around at the other books. Often, you’ll find an even better book right next to it. 

For a more detailed description of the library catalog, check out our interactive Library Catalog tutorial. 

Still need help?  Ask us.