Keyword searching with one or a few words or phrases is a great way to start your research. It's flexible and forgiving. The challenge may be that the search can yield too few, too many, or a certain number of irrelevant results. However, a good keyword search can also find great results and lead to good subject headings!
"alcohol addiction" AND cost [narrow search]
alcohol AND addiction AND cost [broader search]
alcohol AND (addiction OR abuse) AND cost [broadest search]
Subject headings or pre-defined "controlled vocabulary" terms or phrases are assigned to every book or article you find in NUsearch or a particular database. If you don't know what subject headings to search, a keyword search can lead you to those important headings (sometimes called descriptors). The right subject headings can yield relevant search results. In addition, you can narrow down to sub-headings or sometimes even jump to broader or related subjects.
Examples of subject headings in NUsearch: