Weekly assignment #2

By midnight of the day before your class, please post a list of keywords related to your chosen topic as a comment to this post. Generate synonyms for topic keywords (e.g., “gender” and “sex”; “Victorian” and “19th century”) and try alternate spellings (including misspellings) for proper names (e.g., “Heany” for “Heaney”).

Try these keywords in at least a few of the following library catalogs and databases: NCSU, Duke, UNC-CH, NCCU, Open WorldCat, and WorldCat. Write a paragraph discussing how the same keywords produce different results in different catalogs and/or how different keywords and keyword combinations produce different results in the same catalog.

The following dropdown box in the NCSU Libraries catalog is helpful. Be sure to check out WorldCat (available from the Databases page of the library web site) as well as Open WorldCat.



Filed under Weekly Assignments

22 responses to “Weekly assignment #2

  1. Sophie Honeycutt

    Writing center
    Writing lab
    Writing tutor
    Writing help
    Writing conference
    Writing center conferences
    Often the same keywords produced much different results in another catalog. For instance, Duke’s catalog showed nothing relevant from the keywords “writing center,” while NCSU’s listed at least 12. NCCU gave me nothing, and UNC-CH gave me two books, both about writing conferences with non-native speakers. However, WorldCat came up with a great source about writing center administration, oddly enough found in UNC-CH’s library. OpenWorldCat listed sources I had already found. NCCU gave only one result, and it wasn’t applicable.
    “Writing lab,” it seems, is more often used to describe online writing help services, like Purdue’s. OpenWorldCat is the only one that came up with anything, and they were handbooks for a broader topic.
    “Writing tutor” came up with a lot, but only a few sources were specific enough. NCSU’s catalog was the only one that didn’t get too far off from my topic. One of the sources was titled, “Making Relationships: forming an academic community,” a source that could help deepen my research.
    “Writing help” was too general in most of the catalogs; Windows 95 help books came up when I searched on NCSU.
    Lastly, “writing conference” produced countless results, but none of which focused enough on writing CENTER conferences. I then tried “writing center conferences” but that was too broad as well.
    Changing the form of the word, such as “tutoring writing” or “helping write” or anything of that nature, did more harm than good.

  2. Eric Gerson

    Cynthia Ozick
    Cinthia Ozick
    Cinthya Ozyck
    Cinthya Ozick
    Jewish literature
    Jewish prose
    Judaic fiction
    Judaic prose
    Judaic literature
    Jewish fiction
    Jewish American literature
    Jewish American prose
    Jewish American fiction
    Hasidic literature
    Hasidic prose
    Hasidic American literature
    Holocaust literature
    Holocaust prose
    Holocaust fiction
    Jewish misogyny
    Hasidic law
    Jewish law
    Levitation: Five Fictions
    Jewish literary criticism
    Jewish American literary criticism
    Hasidic literary criticism
    Holocaust literary criticism
    The search results were fairly similar for the major keyword combinations, such as ?Cynthia Ozick,? ?Cynthia Ozick + Jewish misogyny,? ?Levitation: Five Fictions,? etc. The libraries as a whole produced the same search results. Duke?s library provided the only instance of a broader literary collection with their larger selection of critical articles pertaining to Cynthia Ozick-especially Cynthia Ozick as a feminist writer. Some of the more obscure keywords like ?Hasidic law? or ?Jewish misogyny? either produced the same results or no results at all, even in WorldCat. When attempting to find critical articles pertaining directly to the ?Levitation? text, the libraries only directed me to the text itself rather than a critical assessment. It was only when I combined the keywords of ?Cynthia Ozick,? ?Levitation: Five Fictions,? and ?Jewish literary criticism? that I obtained relevant texts, such as ?Women of the word: Jewish women and Jewish writing.? Unfortunately, when attempting to misspell Ozick?s name, the search engine automatically corrected the error, leading me to the assumption that other scholars have not misspelled her name in their critical assessments. The most logical course for later searches will be to broaden the search to include other Jewish authors that I plan to analyze in connection to Ozick?s works.

  3. Daniela Newland

    Hammett, Dashiell
    Keyword produced 55 entries at NCSU, 81 entries at UNC library search, and 64 at Duke?s library search.
    Dashiell Hammett
    In this order, the search returned 55 entries at NCSU, 86 entries at UNC library search, and 64 at Duke?s library search.
    Hammet, Dashiell
    Hamett, Dashiell
    Hammett, Dashiel
    Neither misspelling of the name, whether I tried first name last name or last name, first name, received any entries at all at UNC but gave the message no entries found. NCSU?s system corrected the spelling and returned the same amount of entries as the correct spelling had produced. Duke?s system returned the misspelled search term (e.g. 11 number of hits for keyword=Hammet) plus 97 hits for the keyword Dashiell; it looks like Duke?s computer searched for the words separately as well as together, unlike UNC?s system.
    Hamet, Dashiell
    NCSU did not fix the misspelling of this search term and did not return any hits. UNC?s and Duke?s computers reacted exactly the same as they did with the simple misspelling.

  4. Anonymous

    Because my focus in previous searches was a specific novel title and a specific author (Suttree by Cormac McCarthy), I decided to try some additional stabs at the focused topic with some minor changes. First, by placing the title in quotes, something I neglected to do on the first time around. In addition, I tried the title in other libraries as well as WorldCat. Also, misspellings of title or author’s name had no effect on results at any libraries.
    Here are some of the more relevant results:
    The title in quotes at NCSU had no effect on the titles/results listings or LC classifications, and the titles/results at UNC & Duke were virtually identical to our library, which is not surprising given the limited number of scholarly texts devoted to the subject of McCarthy?s novels. The man himself is enigmatic to an extreme, and he has only granted one interview to the NY Times, back in 1992 and at the urgings of his new publicist. So I did not repeat any such endeavors with the author?s name at the other local libraries.
    With WorldCat, the recommendation was to remove quotation marks to achieve a greater number of results (incidentally, the same books of criticism from NCSU, UNC, and Duke popped up there as well). So I tried again, w/out quotes, and achieved the same results & listings of major works of criticism.
    After using these methods, which we discussed in the previous class, I tried an actual variation on nomenclature/keyword related to the origins of the novel. Like another student mentioned in class, there are no real variations to speak of when one selects an author or title as the focus of his or her inquiry. As a consequence, I was/am somewhat at a loss as to how I might proceed. So I am improvising as best I can.
    The character Sut Lovingood is often referenced as a source or inspiration for the novel?s protagonist (Sut is also used as the protagonist’s nickname), so I tried a keyword search using that combination of terms. The listing of books & LC Classifications was really quite interesting. For LC Classifications, there were 2 new ones – PS1 – PS3626 American literature. Canadian literature (5) and PZ1 – PZ90 Fiction and juvenile belles lettres (1). This was really cool to see given the limited results I discovered previously by searching title & author.
    As for titles, they all seem interesting, but I tried to select the ones that appeared to be the most relevant – Sut Lovingood’s yarns. Author: Harris, George Washington, 1814-1869, Sut Lovingood; Author: Harris, George Washington, 1814-1869, Sut Lovingood. Yarns spun by a “nat’ral born durn’d fool.” Warped and wove for public wear. Author: Harris, George Washington, 1814-1869, The Lovingood papers Published: c1962-1965, Segments of southern thoughts, Author: Parks, Edd Winfield, 1906-1968, AND Oddities in southern life and character; Author: Watterson, Henry, 1840-1921. After checking out the Yarns and Oddities titles, the following LCSH?s resulted. These four were especially promising – Frontier and pioneer life–Tennessee–Fiction., Dialect literature, American–Tennessee., Humorous stories, American–Tennessee. , Tennessee–Fiction. Southern States–Social life and customs–1775-1865.
    After checking out the titles at our library, I tried the same search at UNC and Duke?s libraries – Simon Suggs, Madison Tensas, and Sut Lovingood [microfiche] : human nature and three characters from, appeared from UNC with a repetition of results from our library. At Duke Barbara Baker?s The blues aesthetic and the making of American identity in the literature of the South and an additional Sut Lovingood title appeared, Sut Lovingood travels with old Abe Lincoln.
    Obviously, the connections to Tennessee, Sut Lovingood, George Washington Harris, the novel?s setting & protagonist, the black humor of the novel, and myth/folklore appear to be the most evident potentialities for further examination relative to the novel?s contextual significance & thematic links.
    My last attempt with the very useful keyword Sut Lovingood was with WorldCat. The following results appeared promising – The frontier humorists : critical views by M Thomas Inge, Patriotic gore; studies in the literature of the American Civil War. by Edmund Wilson, Faulkner, Sut, and other Southerners : essays in literary history by M Thomas Inge, and The harp of a thousand strings; or, Laughter for a lifetime
    by Samuel Putnam Avery.
    At this point, I know virtually nothing about Sut Lovingood, George Washington Harris, or Thomas Inge (who appears to be a significant voice in this arena). I?m also at a loss as to how Abe Lincoln is relevant (if at all) to the novel. Though I am not entirely certain how I might use this information, I am encouraged that there is such a wealth of data on what I thought would be a rather obscure keyword, if one is willing to consider this figure?s name a keyword. I also inadvertently posted this under assignment #1. Sorry for repetition…

  5. Rob Phillips

    Sorry, I forgot to sign my name to the ^above posting.

  6. Jason Jefferies

    William T. Vollmann
    William T. Volman
    William T. Vollman
    William T. Volmann
    San Francisco Tenderloin
    Kathe Kollwitz
    Anna Akhmatova
    I am still undecided as to which setting in Vollmann’s books I am going to focus on, so I am searching for both the San Francisco works and the Central European ones. I really didn’t find that much of a difference in the systems for Vollman other than Chapel Hill seemed to have the two or three titles we don’t have here. In the search for Shostakovich, there was a huge difference, as the NCSU library reported 51 items versus 754 for Chapel Hill.

  7. Robyn Leigh Youngs

    Sir Philip Sidney
    Philip Sidney
    Philip Sidney
    Astrophil and Stella
    Astrophel and Stella
    The Apologie for Poetry
    In Defense of Poesie
    In Defense of Poetry
    In Defence of Poesie
    In Defence of Poetry
    16th Century Literature
    16th Century Poetry
    16th Century Love Poetry
    16th Century Sonnets
    Renaissance Poetry
    Renaissance British Poetry
    Renaissance British Literature
    Renaissance Non-Dramatic Literature
    16th Century Non-Dramatic Literature
    Love Sonnets
    Love Poetry
    Renaissance Sonnets
    The ‘Scoundrel’ in British Literature
    The villains of Renaissance British Poetry
    Unrequited Love in Renaissance Sonnets
    Unreturned Love in Renaissance Sonnets
    Unrequited Love in British Literature
    I found many pages under just the name, “Sir Philip Sidney” and “Philip Sidney.” There were also many hits under a missipelling of his name: “Phillip Sidney.” There were so many hits under the broader topics, like “Renaissance British Literature,” and “Love Poetry.” The same thing was true with the more specific topics, like “The ‘Scoundrel’ in British Literature,” and “Unrequited Love Poetry.”
    I had better luck with UNC-CH than with any other library. Also, the majority of the articles there were available online, as was the case with the Duke library. NCCU returned nearly nothing, and although NCSU returned many results, the majority was out of print, or had to be specially ordered. WorldCat was a terrific resource, and opened a whole new group of ideas for me, as I have never used it before (or knew it existed). A good group of keywords was “Renaissance Poetry,” which returned many articles comparing Sidney’s form to other sonneteers of the 16th Century.
    Also, Sidney’s work In Defence of Poesie holds hands with Astrophil and Stella, and there are many ways to spell that and receive many results. In many cases, there were so many results (over fifteen pages of them) that I will have no trouble researching my topic.

  8. James Phillips

    American Colonial Captivity Narrative
    Colonial American Captivity Narrative
    New World Captivity Narratives
    American Colonial Literature
    Colonial American Literature
    Indians in American Literature
    Puritans in American Literature
    Gender and Captivity Narratives
    Mary Rowlandson
    King Philip’s War
    John Smith
    Captain John Smith
    Native Americans in Literature
    Mary Rollandson
    Mary Rolandson
    John Smyth(e)
    Jon Smyth(e)
    My initial keyword(s) search was ?American Colonial Captivity Narrative?. This query yielded 19 entries at NCSU, 3 at UNC-CH, 3 at Duke, 0 at NCCU, and 5 for Open World CAT. For my next search I switched the terms ?American? and ?Colonial? and was surprised to receive slightly different results. There was only 1 entry at UNC-CH yet 10 were found on Open World CAT. Needless to say many entries were redundant as I searched one catalog to the next, but I always found at least one undiscovered source. I also searched the similar keyword phrase ?New World Captivity Narratives? and then the broader ?American Colonial Literature? with equally successful results.
    My topic of focus incorporates several subtopics that are expansive in their own right. Here is where I felt that trying synonymous terms might generate new material. I searched ?Indians in American Literature? and received 464 entries for NCSU, 383 for UNC-CH, 322 for Duke, 3 for NCCU, and 911 for Open World CAT. Although much of what was found had no immediate bearing on my specific topic, there were several entries that I could certainly use. I then searched ?Native Americans in Literature? which returned 345 entries for NCSU, 241 for UNC-CH, 202 for Duke, 28 for NCCU, and 650 for Open World CAT. I then did a similar search for ?Puritans in American Literature? as well as ?New England Literature? hoping to find new material.
    In searching for specific captivity narratives I entered the names of two authors which returned both primary and secondary sources. Hoping to find additional material I entered in various misspelling of each name and evaluated the new findings. For the search ?Mary Rolandson? (In place of the correct ?Mary Rowlandson?) most of what was returned was identical to the entries found under the correct spelling. However when the various misspellings of ?John Smith? were searched, the response was quite significant. This of course can be contributed to the commonality of the name itself.
    While my other entries were not so much synonymous with my original keyword search, they were linked to the specific works I plan to research and were helpful just the same.

  9. Kimberly Wine

    Keyword Search:
    writing and race
    teaching writing
    teaching composition
    Teaching English Composition
    Rhetoric and race
    This search produced some interesting results; however, these sources were mostly historical and more concerned with “discourse” and so not quite what I was looking for.
    In terms of sources that were the closest in relevence:
    NCSU came up with this
    Women, “race,” and writing in the early modern period Published: 1994.
    UNC database search came up with these
    Innovations in educational ethnography: theory, methods, and results / edited by George Spindler, Lorie Hammond. 2006
    When English language learners write: connecting research to practice, K-8 / Katharine Davies Samway. 2006
    Duke provided this
    The disability studies reader / edited by Lennard J. Davis. 2006
    Racialization : studies in theory and practice / edited by Karim Murji and John Solomos. 2005
    Open WorldCat produced this source
    Being & race: Black writing since 1970 by Charles Richard Johnson
    The search for Teaching English Composition produced the best results but will still need to be refined to reflect only those articles/studies that deal specifically with race.
    Duke produced the two best sources (which I will most likely use)
    Culture shock and the practice of profession: training the next wave in rhetoric and composition / edited by Virginia Anderson, Susan Romano.
    Published Cresskill, N.J. : Hampton Press, c2006.
    Process this: undergraduate writing in composition studies / Nancy C. DeJoy. Published Logan: Utah State University Press, c2004.
    For the most part the articles and books produced by this search were too general. The keyword search for my topic will almost always be a phrase because otherwise the focus is either on racial discourse OR teaching composition but not on both.

  10. Elizabeth Livingston

    Focusing on Existentialism in 20th century American literature, I played around with 20th and twentieth. The change produced different results in all of the catalogues. Spelling twentieth limited my search in all the catalogues
    NCSU produced 10 sources for 20th and none for twentieth; Duke produced 11 sources for 20th and none for twentieth; UNC produced 15 for 20th and none for twentieth; NCCU produced really nothing for any search that specific for either spelling , but suggested a change in search words that tended to a more broad nature; open worldcat produced 5 (only 3 that were applicable) for 20th and 4 for twentieth; and finally worldcat produced 55 for 20th and 10 for twentieth. Ultimately many of the sources were the same; however I found a great book at Duke and UNC that I had not seen at NCSU and that would be highly valuable. Worldcat was really interesting as well. Misspelling existentialism either caused the database (NCSU) to automatically correct the spelling, or, in two cases it pointed to a book about logotherapy.

  11. Mary Kohn

    second language acquisition
    hispanic dialect
    language shift
    chicano dialect
    First, I entered Hispanic Dialect into the search engine for both NC State and Chapel Hill. NC State should be proud, as nine (four of which were applicable) sources were retrieved, while only one source was retrieved through Chapel Hill’s library. Duke pulled up four sources, with only one overlapping an NCState source.
    Next, I was interested to see if there would be a wider variety if I used the name of a well-established Hispanic English dialect. NC State pulled up seven sources for Chicano dialects, a few of which overlapped with the previous sources. Chapel Hill and Duke pulled up the same two sources, both of which are available at NC State.
    WorldCat appeared to be down temporarily and kept on directing my searches to google, although google tried to direct me to various libraries that carried the books listed by NC State’s website.
    I also searched my other keywords with similar results and I venture to guess that because of NC State’s recent research projects our library has a curren advantage on applicable sources. I’d be interested to search the websites of other universities with active research projects concerning dialects and immigration to compare resources.

  12. Baker Pratt

    list of keywords –
    epic poetry
    germanic poetry
    old english
    old english poetry
    old english manuscripts
    germanic manuscripts
    christianity old english
    christianity anglo saxon
    anglo saxon myths
    germanic myths
    anglo saxon legends
    germanic legends
    finnesburg beowulf
    offa beowulf
    beowulf contemporary
    beowulf contemporary texts
    christianity beowulf
    Again, not having a specific topic, I went with a wide range of keywords. Most of my synonyms consisted of substituting “anglo-saxon” and “old english,” though this din’t heavily affect my results. (Some texts were different, but they seemed only slightly related to my interests).
    All three of the area schools sites that I searched were useful (UNC, Duke, NCCU) and many brought back the same texts. “christianity beowulf” brought the same results at both Duke and UNC, for instance. One common result did reinforce one theme from last week, the theme of monsters in Beowulf, and possible Christian subtexts.
    As might be expected, “christianity anglo saxon” resulted in titles that did not directly mention Beowulf, but seeing as it’s such a prominent text, I find it likely that it is used in many of them. Worldcat was also very useful with this theme.
    Finally, one title came up that I found interesting, the idea of gender in Beowulf and other anglo saxon texts. I imagine this could be quite interesting, and will add it to my list of possibilities.

  13. Lorian Long

    Original Search: Sex in Postmodern Literature
    Sexual Deviance
    Rape Fantasies
    Postmodern Literature
    Joan Didion
    Joan Dideon
    Jeanette Winterson
    Jeanete Winterson
    Mary Gaitskill
    Vladimir Nabokov
    I began this assignment by typing my original search into the other library search engines. I found that Duke produced the most results, but they were still similar to what I had found in the NCSU database. Afterwards, I made a list of other key terms and synonyms that related to my topic. The key phrase that was the most successful was “Sadomasochism in Literature.” I found results in every library database, with Duke being the most popular. The other terms produced results, but there were either too many results or not enough.
    Actually, I found out that authors were really the best subjects to search. Mary Gaitskill is an author I plan on researching, but she’s so new that it’s difficult to find criticsm. However, when I searched her in NCSU’s database, I came across a great collection of essays that included Gaitskill and other authors of interest: “Debating sexual correctness: pornography, sexual harassment, date rape and the politics of sexual equality.” The other libraries only provided her novels, short stories, and the film, Secretary.
    Another postmodern female author I had success with was Jeanette Winterson. I found “Postmodern Subjects/Postmodern Texts” in the UNC database. This book included essays on Winterson. Both Didion and Nabokov produced results, of course, and I found that the WorldCat was the best search engine for them. I also tried misspelling the authors’ names, but this didn’t really do anything for me. Although using asteriks seemed to help get more results.

  14. Ashley Merrill

    Searching “nancy drew” in the NCSU catalog returns 44 results, but only 7 are under the catagory “Drew, Nancy (Fictitious character)”. The same search term, but in quotation marks, limited the results to 12, including the same 7 relevant ones. A search at UNC-CH’s library returns 17 results, nearly all of which seem relevant (although some of them are actual Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, not critical response or nostalgic volumes). Putting quotation marks around the search term did not make a difference.
    Searching Duke Library returned 26 results, many of them only on the list because they include Drew Barrymore, and were actual video recordings. Only ten or so actually seemed relevant, due to the dearth of video results. With the term in quotation marks, the search returned 11 results, none of which seemed to be about Drew Barrymore, and also included one or two “Nancy Clue” results.
    WorldCat returned 894 book results, but the majority of these were due to the immense number of Nancy Drew books that have been published over the years. I found a few more books than I had found at any of the other libraries, but they aren’t at any of the libraries in the state. Putting quotation marks around the term returned 773 book results, but again, most of these were actual Nancy Drew books.

  15. Josh Gane

    List of keywords:
    Posthuman Communication
    Posthuman culture
    cyber punk
    machine human
    I found that there was little difference in search results from different libraries in this subject. However, different search variations did bring a variety of finds. My most general term, posthumanism, obviously brought the most results. When I included “communication” or “literature” my results were less than relavent. Then, with more specific terms such as hyertext, cybernetics and such, lots of usable material surfaced. A few sources appeared constantly through numerous searches of my most general, though very different, terms. I would consider these sources to be essencial to any study in this subject.

  16. Erika J. Galluppi

    List of Keywords:
    Fisherman’s Wife
    Fisherman’s Wife fairy tale
    Fisherman’s Wife fairytale
    Fisherman’s Wife myth
    Fisherman’s Wife legend
    Fisherman’s Wife folklore
    Fisherman’s Wife lore
    Fisherman’s Wife fable
    Fisherman’s Wife story
    Fisherman Wife
    Fisherman Wife fairy tale
    Fisherman Wife fairytale
    Fisherman Wife myth
    Fisherman Wife legend
    Fisherman Wife folklore
    Fisherman Wife lore
    Fisherman Wife fable
    Fisherman Wife story
    Fisher Wife
    Fisher Wife fairy tale
    Fisher Wife fairytale
    Fisher Wife myth
    Fisher Wife legend
    Fisher Wife folklore
    Fisher Wife lore
    Fisher Wife fable
    Fisher Wife story
    Fisherman fairy tale
    Fisherman fairytale
    Fisherman myth
    Fisherman legend
    Fisherman folklore
    Fisherman lore
    Fisherman fable
    Fisherman story
    During the last assignment, I found that I had to tweak my topic from “Virginia Woolf” and “fairy tales” to a broad tracing of “The Fisherman’s Wife fairy tale” in order to receive viable search hits. For this assignment, I tried as many combinations of these original keywords as possible.
    I focused on different arrangements of “Fisherman”, both with and without possession, combined with different synonyms for “fairy tale”. Surprisingly, far less overlap occurred that I’d originally imagined. Plus, far more search items emerged with each synonym and different arrangement of the keywords.
    Removing the apostrophe from “fisherman” and/or using quotation marks or parentheses around “fisherman?s wife” and “fairy tale” didn?t make any difference in the NC State catalog search. However, adding the apostrophe and/or using quotation marks or parentheses in the Chapel Hill catalog search caused the number of search hits to severely decrease or result in no hits whatsoever. Similarly, removing the apostrophe for the Duke catalog and the WorldCat Libraries searches gave me far more (and far more varied) results.
    Side note: I know that I would have received countless more search items had I included synonyms and other spellings “wife”, more synonyms/spellings for “fairy tale”, or added more information (such as the Brothers Grimm and specific origin locales of the tale) to the search; however, I wanted to keep the keywords to a manageable handful for this assignment.

  17. James Sellers

    socio phonetics
    social phonetics
    sociological phonetics
    /o/ phoneme
    [o] allophone
    allophonic variation
    North Carolina Dialect
    North Carolina isogloss
    I found that the NC State library had a lot more hits for search terms like “NC dialect” which makes sense because we have a strong sociolinguistics program while Duke and UNC do not. World Cat returned similar results as the NC State library search, except there were obviously more results from many different libraries. I noticed that linguistic notation is not registered by the search protocol for any of the libraries. So if I search for /o/ which means “the phoneme o, as in boat” I just get hits for everything with the letter “o” in it and not just /o/. This is irritating because I can’t just search to find out what work has been done on specific sounds because any linguistics text would have /o/. Sociophonetics produced different results than socio-phonetics and socio phonetics. But they each produced only one hit each, one of which was a thesis written by the guy I shared an office space with last semester.
    Most of the hits I got in these search engines were texts written by professors at NC State or theses from NC State students. So I decided to try some of the same keywords in the database of Linguistics and Language Behavior abstracts on the NC State library’s site. I found a lot more variation in the types of texts I found there.

  18. Lisa Morgan

    My Topic: Death Penalty
    My Keywords:
    Death penalty
    Death sentence
    Death sentences
    Capital punishment
    Lethal injection
    Death row
    Death walk
    Capital cases
    Capital murder
    Death penalty inmates
    I began my search by keyword in the WorldCAT database. Here are the results?
    Keyword ?Death penalty? brought up a broad list of sources. Most of them were vague and covered a large range of this topic such as:
    ?The Constitution, That Delicate Balance? (1984)
    ?Our Endangered Values: America?s Moral Crisis? by Jimmy Carter (2005)
    ?Crime in America; Observations on it?s nature, causes, prevention, and control? (1970)
    Farther down the first search results page were sources more closely related to the topic of death penalty:
    ?The Death Penalty: An American History? (2002)
    ?The Death Penalty: A Debate? (1983)
    ?Debating the Death Penalty: Should America Have Capital Punishment?? (2004)
    ?Ultimate Punishment: A Lawyer?s Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty? (2003)
    ?Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the US? (1993)
    Keyword ?Death sentence? brought a different mixture of resources including fiction and folklore. In fact, the first item listed was the book ?A Treasury of American Folklore: Stories, Ballads, and Traditions of the People? (1944). Fiction like Norman Mailer?s ?The Executioner?s Song? appeared in the first search listing page. Also, books of no connection to the topic of death penalty appeared such as Camille Paglia?s ?Break, Blow, Burn? (2005).
    By adding an ?s? to the keyword ?death sentence? and searching under the keyword ?death sentences,? a different group of sources appeared including the following books: ?The Feminine Body in Western Culture: Contemporary Perspectives? (1986) and ?Critical Essays on Toni Morrison?s Beloved? (1998).
    Keyword ?execution? brought up starkly different sources because of the multiple meanings of the word ?execution.? For instance, the fifth source was ?Execution: the discipline of getting things done? and the second source was ?The 8th Habit: from effectiveness to greatness.?
    The other sources pertained to the keyword ?execution? as a synonym for the death penalty. For instance, the tenth source was ?Actual Innocence: five days to execution and other dispatches from the wrongly convicted.?
    If I added an ?s? to form the new keyword ?executions,? I got a similar mixture of source types including ?When the State Kills: capital punishment and the American condition? and ?Twentieth Century Interpretations of Billy Budd; A Collection of Critical Essays.?
    I found that starting the search in WorldCAT rather than the NCSU catalog saved a lot of time. In WorldCAT, you already had all of the source?s locations listed in one search listing. You didn?t have to take extra steps to find out if UNC-Chapel Hill?s Library had the same book, etc.
    In the NCSU catalog, I searched for keyword ?death row? and came up with the following results:
    All of the items on the first page of search results pertained to the topic of the death penalty. I found fascinating books such as ?Bloodsworth: the true story of the first death row inmate exonerated by DNA,? ?America?s Condemned: death row inmates in their own words,? and ?Finding Life on Death Row: profiles of six death row inmates.?
    In the UNC-Chapel Hill catalog, I searched for the same keyword ?death row? and came up with similar results except there were a few different ones:
    A novel by Mariah Stewart entitled ?Final Truth?
    Nonfiction books like ?The Specialty of Death,? ?Back from the Dead: one woman?s search for the men who walked off America?s death row,? and ?Capital Consequences: families of the condemned tell their stories.?

  19. Leah White

    Original search: gender and language
    English language
    American English
    English syntax
    Sex differences
    Male-female differences
    Language and sex
    Language and education
    Language and learning
    Sex differences in education
    Language arts
    Women and language
    English language acquisition
    Children and language
    Just to start off, I posted my most basic original search, “gender and language,” to UNC, Duke, and NCCU’s catalogs and got progressively fewer hits with them. At NCSU’s library, I had just over 1000 hits, while at UNC I had under 500, at Duke under 400, and at NCCU about 50.
    Entering “language” and “sex differences” at UNC got me 57 hits, but 29 of those were written in foreign languages, and many of those left in English were about other languages as well. The same search at Duke yielded more results, but I think using the term “English language” gets me better results in either case.
    When using “American English” as one of my search terms, UNC’s library kicked me to the LC subjects list, saying it didn’t have anything listed under that heading, but right above it, I found a better search term. It said “American English — See English language United States,” under which category I found a lot more options, so if I plan to focus specifically on American English, I will switch my search keyword to that. Using “English language–United States–Sex differences” got me 7 results at UNC and NCSU and 6 at Duke, most of which overlapped.
    I attempted to use Open WorldCat, but like Mary, I also got kicked over to Google whenever I directed a search there from NCSU’s catalog. I wasn’t sure if that was normal or not, so I just clicked on one of the links and searched from there. Once I got there, I got more results than at any of the individual libraries. Using the last mentioned search, I got back 55 hits. Some of my search terms definitely return more and better hits than others, so I will weed out the less effective ones as I did with “American English.”

  20. Blake Wilder

    Light in August
    William Faulkner
    William Falkner
    Richard Wright
    Native Son
    race in literature
    minorities in literature
    law in literature
    justice in literature
    I realized I would be able to internalize more of the skills we are learning if I limited my focus to an impending paper rather than thinking forward to my thesis. In the course of this semester, I anticipate writing a paper contrasting the use of violence in William Faulkner?s Light in August with Richard Wright?s Native Son.
    I tried sending various keywords to other catalogs, but found that I get generally positive results everywhere I go. However, most of the results have been good in a more general rather than being exactly on topic. I would need to examine them closer to find out if they would truly be useful.

  21. Josh Peery

    For my topic of defining the difference between propaganda and documentary I developed the following keywords:
    “documentary film”
    “propaganda film”
    “political film”
    “political motion pictures”
    “non-fiction film”
    “history film”
    “documentray footage”
    “recruiting films”
    “scientific film”
    With these terms I get a variety of hits: some overlapping and some leading to interesting results not necessarily directfully useful, but giving me new ideas and approaches to the material.

  22. Laura Robinson

    The European Library
    British Library
    Helen Maria Williams ? 125
    Helen Marie Williams ? 1 (unrelated)
    Helen M. Williams ? 43 (mostly unrelated)
    Female travel writer – 0
    Travel writer ? 243
    French Revolution and Williams ? 39 (overall productive)
    Helen Maria Williams ? 71 (many related)
    Helen Marie Williams ? 2 (unrelated)
    Helen M. Williams ? 46 (mostly unrelated)
    Female travel writer – 1
    Travel Writer – 93
    French Revolution and Williams -47 (many leads)
    Helen Maria Williams ? 465 (need to sort these better!)
    Helen Marie Williams ? 85
    Helen M. Williams ? 596 (mostly unrelated)
    Female Travel writer ? 17
    Travel writer ? 4,074 (obviously too broad!)
    French Revolution and Williams ? 239 (many unrelated)
    UNC Chapel Hill
    Helen Maria Williams ? 82 (many positive leads)
    Helen Marie Williams ? 7 (unrelated)
    Helen M Williams ? 56 (mostly unrelated)
    Female travel writer ? 4 (unrelated, but interesting!)
    Travel writer ? (unrelated, but may have interesting crossover information)
    French Revolution and Williams ? 37 (some leads)
    I enjoyed using the different catalogs, especially because I am interested in what resources may be available overseas. Since I am planning to write on Helen Maria Williams as a thesis project, I am interested in finding a variety of research currently published on her. I will be specifically examining her “revolutionary methods” of travel writing – related to the representation of her characters’ faces, but it is helpful to find various sources with current scholarship.
    I plan to go back to these databases to continue searching, as I think it will reveal more than I previously realized was published on Williams. In the meantime, I have to sort through Helen Maria Williams – the scientist – who likes to pop up in all my searches!
    I did not have any succes with misspellings or with changing the name to first/last or first/mi/last, so it seems that “Helen Maria Williams” is truly found by her name.