On the result page, you can click on the title of any result to get to the record page for that item. Here you will find a ton of important and useful information about the resource before ever having to open it. Viewing an item's record page is a great way to determine if something is actually relevant or not.
1. The top part of the record is the bibliographic information, meaning that it the contains author name, title, page numbers, etc. If there is an author, you can click on the author's name to find more resources by the same author.
2. The contents section may contain a table of contents or an abstract that gives you a sneak peek into what the resource is about. In the example above, we can see that my search term, "zombies" is highlighted several times. This, along with with other relevant keywords in the contents, helps me determine that this is a good resource for my topic.
3. The subject section lists all the subject(s) that your resource is assigned to. It's a great way to make sure your resource is really about your topic before you ever begin reading it. Each subject term is also a link. Click on any subject link to find more resources in the same subject!
4. The notes section gives you additional information about the item, including noting if your resource contains bibliographical references. If it does, you know that resource was done to write the resource and that the author is citing their sources!
5. The holdings section tells you about where the item is. If it is a physical item, make sure to write note the location and the call number - you will need this to physically find the item.
6. Need more information? Click the "About the Book" link in the blue box to learn more.
Let's look at three sources that come up if you do a search for "America":
|America||Can America Compete?||America, America|
Can you tell just by looking which book is the best for a research paper on American history? Are they all? None?
The first thing you might notice is that the books have different call number ranges. The A-State Library is arranged by subject according to the Library of Congress Classification. Because these are different call numbers, these books are probably about different things. Let's dig deeper:
America by Stephen Vincent Benet
We can see that the subject for this book is United States - History. This matches the subject assigned to the E178 call number: United States - History - General. This means that this would be a good book for an American history paper. However, pay attention to the date! A 1944 book may not be good for current affairs or modern history.
Can America Compete?
This book has four subjects assigned to it - all having to do with industry and manufacturing. This would make it a great book on the history of industry in the United States, but probably not a good research for a paper on American history. These subjects match the subject assigned to the call number HD3616: Industrial Policy.
Every subject heading for this item contains the word "drama," making this another resource that would not be good for a paper on America history (although great for theatre!). Generally, anytime you see a call number that begins with "P," you are going to be looking at drama, literature, language, or journalism.