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ENG 1061/1070 English Composition/Effective Speaking: Books

Getting started with background research for composition and speech topics.

Dewey Decimal System

Our library uses the Dewey Decimal System. This system assigns numbers to books based on subject, so that similar books can be grouped together. The hundred's place is the most general, and each additional digit gets to a more specific sub-topic. For example:

600 = Technology and applied sciences

610 = Medicine

617 = Surgery and related medical specialties

617.1027 = Sports medicine

Find the numbers that correspond to your interests and see what's on those shelves! If you aren't familiar with Dewey, click the link below for a breakdown of numbers and their topics.

Search strategies

Example Boolean search

Notice the parentheses around the or phrase and the truncation

child* and (television or TV or television viewing) and violen*

Using the VSC catalog

Use the Online Catalog to search for books and more

Searching by keyword

Choose the most significant concepts for your search. Leave the drop-down option as "All fields."

Searching by subject

Put your subject term in the basic search box and choose subject from the drop-down options.

Advanced Search

For more control of your search, use the Advanced Search boxes. These allow you to search by keywords and subject terms together.

To search for multiple forms of a word, use an asterisk (*) at the end of it. For example, to get alcoholism, alcoholic, and alcohol, use alcohol*

To search a phrase, use quotes. For example, "medical marijuana."

Items at other VSCs

To request an item from another Vermont State Colleges library,  click on Place Request (Castleton) and log in.

You'll get a notification in your Castleton email when it arrives, usually within a week.


(Subscription resource.  Log-in required for off-campus access.)

You can browse or search within Castleton's EBSCO e-book collection, full-text books to read online or download, or see the e-books included in your catalog searches.