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FYS 101: The Power of Everyday Stories (Mould)

Resources for Project in FYS 101: The Power of Everyday Stories taught by Tom Mould

Subject Guide

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

Controlled Vocabulary & Keyword Searching

Many books and articles and more have been cataloged using a controlled vocabulary schema called the Library of Congress Subject Headings.  LCSH are created to aggregate the various terms used for a thing or concept; there can be many natural vocabulary keywords for the same thing, so be aware of these as you search.  In some cases, the LCSH is similar to or the same as keyword (or natural vocabulary) search terms or metadata (example: Campaign speeches is both a keyword and a LCSH).  Knowing and using both will give you the best chance of finding the best sources for your project.  Keep a research journal of LCSH and keywords that work best in various databases and online resources.  For keyword searches, use alternative terms such as speeches, addresses, oratory, rhetoric, stump speeches, orators, etc.  Also use general and more specific keywords and LCSH to expand or limit your search.  Note: some journal databases use controlled vocabulary that are not LCSH, so note these terms too.  Controlled vocabulary and keyword searching are most useful when used together.


WorldCat is the search interface for OCLC, the world’s largest bibliographic database.  Always use the Advanced Search box, and remember you can filter the searches in many ways, including by format, date range, e-format, etc.  It can be used to find books, articles, films, photos, maps, archival items, etc.  For this assignment, use the filter boxes in the left-hand column, especially the Year box; select Last 10 Years or put in a custom range (ex.: 2006-2019).  All LCSH are hot links to every record with that LCSH.

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General Library of Congress Subject Headings

Below are a selection of Library of Congress Subject Headings. Depending on the speech, look for other LCSH that fit your topic.  You can also search by personal or organizational name, event, etc.

  • Speeches, addresses, etc., American 21st century (very useful for finding speech texts)
  • Speeches, addresses, etc., American History and criticism (for finding analysis of speeches)
  • Political oratory United States
  • Politics and government
  • Government history
  • United States Politics and government Sources
  • United States History Sources
  • Political activists United States History 21st century
  • United States History 1969-
  • Presidents United States Election History 21st century
  • Presidents United States Messages
  • Campaign speeches United States
  • Bush, Jeb Oratory   (note: use the person’s full form of name; some use dates and some don’t; add Oratory).
  • McCain, John, 1936-2018 Oratory (example)
  • Obama, Barack Oratory (example)
  • Watson, Emma, 1990- Oratory (example)
  • Speeches, addresses, etc., American African American authors (very useful for finding speech texts)
  • African Americans History Sources
  • African American orators
  • African Americans Civil rights History 21st century Sources
  • Civil rights movements United States History 21st century Sources
  • United States Race relations History 21st century Sources
  • Speeches, addresses, etc., American Women authors.
  • Baccalaureate addresses (baccalaureate and graduation speeches can have political content)
  • Graduation speeches


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