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FYS: Travelers and Tourists (Turner): Search Strategies

A LibGuide to assist students with their projects in this FYS class

Search Tips

  1. More terms = fewer hits. Fewer terms = more hits. If you're not finding enough material, try eliminating one of your search terms.
  2. Always try different searches using synonyms; the author may not have used the same word you're searching for.
  3. When you find an entry that is exactly what you want, look at its Subject Headings and search for those to find more good sources.
  4. Use wild cards in your searching. * usually means "any number of characters," so travel* looks for travel, traveler, travelers, traveling, etc.
  5. The library catalog uses a ? instead of a * for its wild cards.

Using Databases Effectively

The trick to searching any database effectively (whether library catalog or article database) is knowing how different searches work.

Keyword Searches look for your search terms in all the data fields (title, author, publisher, notes, subjects, etc.). This generates a broad list of results but will also have irrelevant material because your term showed up somewhere in the record. The library catalog assumes an "AND" when you do a keyword search and will only give you the records that contain ALL your search terms unless you use "OR."
          Result: more hits but extraneous material included

Subject Heading Searches use a "controlled vocabulary," which is fancy talk for a limited number of words used to describe everything. These are specific subjects that librarians have assigned to each book or article.
          Result: fewer hits but almost all are relevant

Keyword Search is to Subject Search as Google is to Database Searching. You get fewer but better hits searching our Subscription Databases.

Some suggested subject headings to search for:


Tourism -- Dictionaries

Tourism -- Social aspects

Tourism -- [insert location]


Cultural awareness

Cultural relativism

Cultural pluralism

Cross-cultural orientation

Food -- Social aspects

Intercultural communication

North American -- Discovery and exploration


Travel in literature

Travel -- Medieval

Travel writing


Travelers in literature

Travelers' writings, American

Travelers' writings, American -- History and criticism

Travelers' writings, European

Travelers' writings -- History and criticism

Visitors, Foreign

West (U.S.) -- Discovery and exploration

Subject Guide

Sally Childs-Helton's picture
Sally Childs-Helton
Irwin Library, Rm 345
Special Collections, Rare Books, and University Archives
Childs-Helton eval


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937
CAT: 317-940-8575

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