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UMass Amherst Libraries

NATSCI 387 CNS Junior Writing

Junior Year Writing for some majors in the College of Natural Sciences (NATSCI)

Strategies and Resources

To find books at UMass only, use the Five Colleges Library Catalog and select the UMass link (top right). 

To cast a wider net, search all Five Colleges at once. 

Search strategies:

  • Use keywords to find good subject headings 
  • Start with specific search terms - then use broader terms
  • Try broad categories, browsing the sub-topics
  • Try the Advanced Search and limit by date, language, format or with additional words

TIPS: 

  • To get a book from any of the Five Colleges, click REQUEST at the top (left) of the catalog record for the book and log in with your campus NetID to have it retrieved for you. You will receive an e-mail in 1-3 days to pick up the book at the UMass Library.
  • Use WorldCat for the widest search - it finds  books whether the UMass Libraries have them or not. 
  • If the book is not available in the Five College Library System, you may request a copy through InterLibrary Loan.

Search terms

Try specific terms first,
   then try more general ones.

  • Specific terms (Northern Flicker or Colaptes auratus) give fewer but more precise results
  • General terms (birds or woodpeckers) give more but less precise results

Searching specific terms may miss a book about the broader topic with just  a chapter on your topic.

Use both scientific and common names for organisms, connected with or, as above.

Try using truncation (forest* will find forest, forests and forestry) and variant spellings so you won't miss important titles.