Wednesday, May 21, 2014

You Don't (Always) Have To Read The Whole (Print) Book

Do you avoid searching for books when you have a paper because you're short of time?
Your desired information can often be located within a book chapter.  It may only be a few pages long.

Once you have found your book on the shelf, there are 2 quick ways of looking for information:

1)  The table of contents (front of the book)
This is a list of all the chapter and section titles in the book.
You can sometimes tell by the titles if your topic is included.
Let's say your topic is the Watergate scandal, and that you have selected this book: Richard Nixon and His America, by Herbert S. Parmet.

Let's take a look at the table of contents:

Table of contents
Unfortunately, none of the chapter titles look helpful. Time for our second option.

2). The index (back of the book)
This is an alphabetical listing of all the topics covered in a book.
A good index can be extremely helpful.

To use an index:
--Flip to the back of the book.
--Look up your word alphabetically. 
Next to it, you will see page numbers where your topic is mentioned.
--Go to those pages.
Note:  If you can't find your topic, try looking up related words.

"Watergate scandal" is in the index.

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