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EH 401: Teaching Composition: Finding Books

Theory and techniques for secondary teachers

Searching for Books by Standard Headings

These are standard Library of Congress Headings;

   Omit hypens and other punctuation

Language arts

English language study and teaching

English language study and teaching

      secondary United States

English language composition and exercises

      study and teaching

Examples of keyword  w/ Boolean

      searches (non-standard):

English and theory and composition

composition and "english language"

writing and secondary


To find books and government documents in USA Libraries' collections, use SOUTHcat: USA Libraries' Catalog.

  • Catalog tips and tricks:
    • Keyword searches – use quotation marks to hold phrases together ("language arts")
    • Truncation – use ? after the root of a word to find all its variants (diar? would find diary or diaries)
    • Browse the Subject(s) field in records to find the right words for searches. (Example: Try doing a keyword search for "language arts" women then look at the subject(s) field in several records. You’ll see that the subject term could be Language arts (Secondary).Click the subject heading to find more records with this subject.)
  • Revise and refine your searches. Combine words or phrases.
  • Watch for repeating call numbers and browse stacks in that area.
  • Pay attention to the Location and Status fields. You will need this information to locate the item in the library.