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EDMS 4110: Reading/Language Arts Methods

This is a class page for EDMS 4110. Instructors: Lauren Fletcher, Furwa Rizvi

From Topic to Subject Headings

This is a table highlighting natural language to subject headings.
Natural Language Keywords Subject Headings
Natural language searching is searching in full sentences or phrases, like you would ask a person "how many feet in a yard?".  Natural language is how most people search Google and other search engines,  but this type of searching will not work well with Library Databases or the Catalog. Keyword searching is searching using individual words often taken from the key ideas in a Natural Language search.  Keyword searching in databases usually searches the entire record or full text for your terms and will allow for a large number of results. Seemingly irrelevant results occur when your key word is found deep within a record. Using common words in a Keyword search will result in an overwhelming number of results by adding additional Keywords a search can become more focused. Subject searches use specific predefined or "controlled vocabulary".  Each database creates a customized list (aka a thesaurus) of words that are used to tag similar information.  By using Subject assigned terms you will be able to find materials that may use historic terms, synonyms, regional spellings and other variations of a topic.  Subject searches look only in the Subject Heading or descriptor field for those specific terms.  If you do not know specific Subject terms, you will not get effective results.  Often you can discover the Subject terms from the results of a Keyword search.
Natural Language Keywords Subject Headings
I’m looking for children’s books on bullying. “Children’s Books” AND Bullying Bullying -- Juvenile fiction
I need a picture book focused on disabilities. “Picture Books” AND Disabilities People with disabilities -- Juvenile fiction
Google Scholar:
Library Catalog:
Library of Congress:
University of South Carolina. (n.d.). Boolean Searching: Basic & advanced searching with Boolean.


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