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Military Research

This is a guide to research military and veteran topics.

Finding the Right Keywords

What Are Keywords and Subject Headings?

Sometimes it can be challenging to find the right keywords to locate the information you need. This box is intended to help generate some ideas for topics related to veterans and the military. 

Two ways to search for information involve using keywords or subject headings (also called subject terms).

KEYWORD searches author, title, subject, and other descriptors of the article (or book, video, etc.).  Sometimes (not always) keyword searches for words within the article. You perform a keyword search every time you search in Google.  The upside to a keyword search is that it is easy, and you usually get plenty of results. The downside is that often too many results appear, and the results aren't always relevant to your search. 

SUBJECT HEADINGS are specific words used by librarians to describe the main concept of an article.  Once you find out what the assigned subject terms are for your topic, you can better locate relevant articles by doing a "subject" search. Subject heading searches are trickier than keyword searches because you have to figure out which subject heading works best for your topic. Subject heading searches are worth the effort because their results are most relevant to your information needs.

From Georgia State Libraries - Help and Answers

Finding Keywords and Subject Headings

Have trouble finding relevant information? Here are some keyword and subject heading suggestions for topics related to veterans' health, veterans' healthcare, and military health benefits. 

  • Veterans--Medical care--United States
  • Veterans--United States--Mental health care
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder--United States

Looking for more veteran personal stories and narratives? Here are some suggested keywords and subject headings to help find the most relevant information sources. 


  • Veteran stories*

  • Veteran oral histories

  • Military life

  • [insert military conflict] veteran stories (ex. World War I veteran stories*

  • Veteran biographies

  • United States military stories*

*use biography, autobiography, narratives in place if you are not finding relevant information

Subject Headings

  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- France -- Normandy

  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations, British

  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations, American

  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, British

  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American

  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Personal narratives 

  • Veterans' families -- United States -- Anecdotes

  • Veterans -- United States -- Family relationships

  • Veterans -- United States -- Anecdotes

  • Veterans -- United States -- Biography

  • United States -- Military history -- Anecdotes

  • United States -- Armed Forces -- Military life -- Anecdotes 

  • Soldiers -- United States -- Anecdotes

  • Soldiers' writings, American

Veterans--Employment--United States

Soldiers--Employment--United States

Veterans--Vocational guidance--United States

Civil service-Veterans' preference-United States

Retired military personnel--Employment--United States

Vocational guidance

Career changes--United States

Job hunting--United States

Career changes--United States

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