Before you even start to search, it's important to narrow and refine your topic to a simple, meaningful research question or statement. Otherwise, your search results and project will be too overwhelming and unmanagable. One quick shortcut to narrowing a topic to a managable research question is to ask Who, What, Where, and When in relation to your topic.
Once you have a simple research statement, you will need to identify 2-4 keywords in your statement. Most of the time, the keywords will be nouns or verbs. For each keyword, make a list of alternate terms. These terms may be synonyms, broader or narrower concepts, or alternate spellings. When you search, try alternate keyword combinations.
1. Subject Search
Library of Congress Subject Headings used in the book catalogs