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Information Literacy: Search Strategies

An Information Literate Student is a Successful Student

Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research - Ohio State University

Choosing & Using Sources - A detailed research guide from Ohio State University.  (This is used in some BCC English classes) - Open Source Text

Full Book:   View Web Version   |   Download PDF   |   Download ePub/iBook   |   Download

Finding That Right Word

The best search strategies depend on finding the right word or phrase to search by. Here's a couple of pointers:

  • Look at the words that describe your subject, whether in an article database or in the library's online book catalog. See if any phrases or terms keep showing up again and again. If they are, use those terms in your keyword or subject searches.
  • Keyword searches are broader and more flexible than subject searches because they use natural language. Why do they provide a broader search? Because subject searches employ more specific terms or subject headings based on the Library of Congress Classification System or a similar controlled language system.   For instance, if you're searching for material on World War II, and you do a subject search, you might get surprisingly few results. Why? Because the Library of Congress Classification System lists World War II specifically as "World War, 1939-1945" as the official subject heading.
  • If you use keyword searching, check to see what the Subject Headings are.  These are normally listed in the results you retrieve for books in our Public Access Catalog, and for articles in our Periodical/Article Databases.

Interactive Online Guides To BCC Resources - New For 2020

Introduction To Using The NEW BCC Online Catalog, HELM- NEW. Updated on June, 1, 2020.   Interactive guide to getting to the Library's Catalog, searching for a book and locating it on the shelf.

Using Database Concept Maps To Find and Narrow Topics - Updated for HELM, 5/29/2020.  This interactive guide will help you find and narrow topics, locate background information and begin to explore article sources. Reflection Exercise.

BCC Specific Tutorial - How To Search For Articles.   Updated for HELM, 5/29/2020 This interactive guide will introduce you to searching our databases. 

Berkshire Community College's Information Literacy Videos And Interactive Tutorials. - Types of Sources - Searching techniques

Finding Information - ProQuest

No authentication necessary if you are accessing these modules within Massachusetts but initial sign into the general site is.  Click here once, after which you can continue to access ProQuest links here until you close out your computer.

https://libraries.state.ma.us/login?db=pq_research&locid=mlin_w_berkcc

Types of Sources - ProQuest

No authentication necessary if you are accessing these modules within Massachusetts but initial sign into the general site is.  Click here once, after which you can continue to access ProQuest links here until you close out your computer.

https://libraries.state.ma.us/login?db=pq_research&locid=mlin_w_berkcc

Subject Guide

Karen Carreras-Hubbard's picture
Karen Carreras-Hubbard
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Contact:
Jonathan Edwards Library, Berkshire Community College
1350 West Street
Pittsfield, MA 01085
413-236-2153