Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

W101 (Randall): Language, Your Brain, and Your World: General Searching

Synonyms & Keywords in Searching

When it comes to searching library catalogs and databases, you'll want to be sure you're using multiple keywords, related terms, and synonyms.  Using only a couple search terms will limit what you find.  The best way to search, especially article databases, is to search multiple terms in multiple combinations in multiple databases.  It's a lot of searching!  But it will be worth it, as you'll find more trustworthy and academic resources via the library than you will on the open web.  

Library Quick Searches

Search Summon, CONSORT and OhioLINK for books and other materials containing information about your topic. Requested items within those catalogs will be delivered to the Circulation desk in 3-5 days. If you cannot find what you need on those catalogs, try WorldCat (but remember that you will need to fill an Interlibrary Loan form when requesting from WorldCat).

Search CONSORT (Catalog of Denison, Kenyon, Ohio Wesleyan and Wooster Libraries)



Search OhioLINK (Catalog of over 100 academic libraries in the state of Ohio)


Search for an item in libraries near you: >>

Research Tips

A keyword search retrieves any and all occurrences of a given word or combination of words, whether the words appear in the subject headings, title, or descrioption of the article or book.

Advantage: A keyword search expands the search to all occurrences of a given word or combination of words.

Disadvantage: A keyword search may retrieve much more than you want.

A subject search searches the subject headings assigned to articles and books. Subject headings are very specific terms and phrases used by libraries to describe what a book or article is about. In order to have these terms and phrases be consistent, most libraries use subject headings defined by the Library of Congress. A subject search limits your search to an exact word or an exact combination of words assigned to a given article or book as subject headings.

Advantage: A subject search retrieves exactly what you ask for.

Disadvantage: A subject search limits you to only what you ask for.

Denison Libraries, 100 W College, Granville, Ohio 43023
Phone: 740-587-6235, email:
In order to view PDF documents, you will need to have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed on your computer