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Don't limit yourself, though, by putting in words that are too narrow or too broad.

If your search words are too narrow, you will not find many sources; on the other hand if they are too broad, you will not find the search useful either.

If they do, you should check there as well as checking the computer.

The computer in the library usually will have instructions attached to it.

Key words are words that relate to your topic but are not necessarily in your thesis statement (note that it will be most helpful if you have a clear idea about your topic before you begin this type of research, although research can also help to narrow your thesis).

For example, if you are searching for information about women in the Civil War, it would be too broad to enter just "women" and "war." You would find too many sources this way.Also check the index in the front or the back of the book (the one in the back is always more detailed, but not all books have one) to be sure that the information you are looking for is in the book. On the other hand, a book that doesn't seem to go along with what you are doing can turn out to have a lot of usable information.Books are generally a great resource--they often contain a lot of information gathered into one place, and they can give you a more thorough investigation of your topic.You should read this section before going to more specific information on types of sources, documentation, etc. If you go to the library, you will find that the old card catalog, which only lists books, has been replaced by a computer in most libraries.If you are doing research on a fairly new topic, this will be fine.Make sure to distinguish between general interest magazines and professional journals; this is an important distinction in college-level research.Microfiche or microfilm is a device which can be extremely frustrating.It might also be too narrow to enter the name of a specific woman--you probably need more historical context.Try key phrases such as "women and Civil War" or "girls and Civil War." You want to find as many books that might be helpful on the subject that you are searching, without providing yourself with so much information that you lose sight of your original topic.Most libraries only keep the most current issues of these magazines on the shelf.The rest are bound together in collections, usually by year.

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