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Using Information Responsibly: Find Books

A multimedia tutorial that defines academic integrity, citing sources, and plagiarism.


Search the Library catalog for print and online books, journals, reports, media, etc.

  • Always look for Location, Call Number and Status in library catalog record:



Plan your search. For example, your research topic is how second hand smoking affects children. Great topic, but if you type this search - "How second hand smoking affects children" - into a database or library catalog search box, you will either get no results or you will get irrelevant results. Instead, you need to plan your  key terms.
  • Use synonyms. For example:

second hand smoking/ tobacco smoking/ passive smoking
effects/health aspects/risk factors

  • Use Boolean operators
  • If you don't know author or title of the book, start with a Quick Search using words/phrase describing your topic..
  • Make sure you type and spell correctly: library catalog is very unforgiving in spelling.
  • You can filter results by location and publication date.
Once you found a book you want, look and click at the Subject(s): pre-defined "controlled" terms Library of Congress uses. For example:
  • White Collar Crimes, Business Ethics, Corporate Culture OR Narrower Terms: Bribery, Embezzlement, Tax Evasion OR Related Term: Commercial Crimes
  • Transgender People
  • Ecosystem Services
  • Symbolic interaction
When you find a book on the shelf, browse in the area to see what else is there on the same topic. Our catalog uses the Library of Congress classification system, an alphanumeric system which groups books by subject categories. For example: 
  • HM (general and theoretical sociology)
  • HN   (social history and conditions, social problems and reform)
  • HQ   (marriage and family, sexual life, age groups, women and feminism)
  • HS   (secret and other societies, associations and clubs)
  • HT   (urban and rural sociology; social classes; and races and race relations, in general)
  • HV   (social work, charities, and public welfare; social pathologies; and criminology)
  • HX    (socialism and communism in general, utopias, and anarchism)
  • Z5703 (subject bibliography: criminology)
  • parts of Z161 - 7166 (subject bibliography: political and social sciences)

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