Exploring the Language

Assignment: Identify at least 15-20 authoritative subject headings and index terms for some aspect of the field. Create a concept map(pdf or youtube video explanation and example) of the subject headings and index terms by grouping words with similar connotations together.

How to:

  1. Use a variety of searches on SOUTHcat, the USA catalog and at least one relevant database
  2. Identify official LC Subject Headings or official database index terms related to the topic.
  3. Organize these terms on the page visually grouping together related ideas in a concept map.
  4. (Hint: Try a "visual search" in a relevant EBSCO database. Set display style to "columns.")
Support: Offer students a list of terms used by experts or have students select a term used in class/textbook. If the students aren't familiar with the catalog direct them to the catalog tutorials on the homepage. Suggest an appropriate general (EBSCO's Academic Search Premier) or disciplinary database that has a controlled vocabulary of index terms or a thesaurus.

Use: As an individual assignment. This is particularly useful for the visual learner. Do this yourself to verify subject/index terms.

Objective: Begin to become familiar with the official terms in a field and the variety of associated denotations and connotations.