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Choosing the correct database can increase your "signal to noise ratio."
You can get more relevant results and fewer irrelevant ones.
A successful search process involves:
Keyword searching: The first step is figuring out what the key words actually are.
The words are the key that unlocks the answer.
One technique is to actually tell someone (or the mirror) what you are trying to do"
Maybe something like " I am writing about what Jane Eyre can teach us about how gender was portrayed in VIctorian literature."
So your key words are:
If you are looking in a literature-focused database to begin with, "literature" probably will not be very helpful.
In the field literary criticism, either the title of the text, or the author's name will likely be one of your key terms.
"jane eyre" AND "gender roles"
Controlled vocabulary searching
This kind of search is different in that it uses a set of already-agreed-upon terms to link like concepts in one work to the same concepts in another (or others).
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, 1797-1851 -- Criticism and interpretation
Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900 -- Travel -- United States
Because of the peculiar construction of these "subject tracings" it's probably best to use them to track down additional relevant works once you have found a first one.
These tools give you a way to narrow down your results to remove irrelevant records from your set.
This feature is unique to Alma. It shows you what titles are "on the shelf beside" the one you select.