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RELG 309: Experiencing the Ramayana (HC)

Religion 309: Experiencing the Ramayana (Ghosh): Spring 2022

Tips for Searching Part 1

If you search a catalog or database and receive a large number of results, add a limit or additional keyword in order to retrieve a manageable and relevant number of results to review.  At the same time overly narrow search terms can return too few results.  One way of solving both problems is to use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), which allow you to limit or expand searches depending on your needs.

For example, a search for religion  AND yoga will return items that contain both concepts:

religion OR yoga making returns items that contain either one of the concepts or both:

India NOT China returns items that talk about India but do not mention China:

Phrase searching:

An important strategy to use when searching for phrases ("black and white") or titles.

Truncation and Wildcards:

Most catalogs and databases enable users to search variations of keywords by using truncation (*) or wildcard (e.g., ?, $, !) symbols.

For example, one could search for politic*  to find poltic, politics, political, politicking, and so on.

Wildcard searches are for differences within words: a search for wom?n will return results for woman, women, and womyn.

Nested Searching:

When pairing two or more keywords with another keyword, it is important to "nest" the former terms within a larger Boolean search.

yoga AND religion AND art yields 19 results including The Deeper Dimension of Yoga by Georg Feuerstein  Connect from Bryn Mawr College      Icon     Icon.


Tips for Searching Part 2

Subject Headings allow you to find relevant material grouped together including titles that do not use the keywords you may be searching.

Finding subject headings

       Look at a book record in Tripod, check the subjects assigned to it, and choose whatever ones are relevant for your research.

Example: A woman's Rāmāyana : Candrāvatī's Bengali epic  Connect from Bryn Mawr College      Icon     Icon


            Women in Hinduism -- India -- Bengal -- History -- 16th century

            Candrāvatī, active 16th century Rāmāyaṇa

            Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa

  Subject search  Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa51 results


Refining subject searches

You can combine different concepts into a single subject search for precision.  The results are more focused than a keyword search.

However, all the words have to be terminology used in library subject cataloging.

To ensure this, you can use subject headings you have already found.  Another option is to browse in the subject headings for more choices.