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Composition I Research Guide for ENGL 101: Finding Books

Spring 2019

Resources: Books

Although the Library Catalog includes all physical materials in the Library's collection, you will probably use it mostly to find books and videos. When you search the catalog, you are searching records of items, so it is important to use the search strategies introduced on the Search Strategies tab. This tab gives specific tips on searching the catalog as well as information about accessing e-books.

Search the Library Catalog

Search here for library books on your topic:

USC Upstate Library Catalog
Advanced Keyword Search

Search Tips:

  • Place keywords in quotation marks to search for an exact phrase.
    Example: "south carolina"
  • Boolean operators:
    • and - all terms must be found; narrows a search
      Example: television and violence
    • or - any of the terms may be found; expands a search
      Example: "mass media" or television
    • and not - excludes the terms
      Example: mexico and not "new mexico"
  • Use an asterisk (*) to search for different variations or spellings of a word.
    Example: teen* - teen, teens, teenage, teenager, teenagers, etc.

Library Catalog versus Databases

Finding E-books in the Library Catalog

E-book Tutorials

Finding and using e-books can be tricky since the library has e-books from a number of different publishers and vendors. Please see the links to tutorials to our two main e-book providers.

Find a Book 1: Introduction to the Library Catalog

Find a Book 2: Searching the Library Catalog by Keyword

Find a Book 3: Searching the Library Catalog by Subject

Subject Headings and Contents Notes

Click on the title of a book in the results list to access the record for that book, which includes two useful aids:

Contents notes are provided for many recent books and are an excellent way to see if a book contains material relevant to your topic.

Subject Headings are assigned to books based on content and are a good way of determining which books are the most relevant to a particular topic. In the catalog, subject headings are links that can be used to find all items in the library cataloged under a particular subject heading. Remember two things:

1. Subject headings are organized in hierarchies. The dashes following the main part of the heading usually separate narrower aspects of the subject.

2. There may be more than one subject heading relevant to your topic.