The aim of this assignment is to assess you understanding of the principles that underpin the creation and use of alphabetic subject listings. It will be an opportunity for you to reflect on how a thesaurus can be developed to meet users’ needs.


You will develop a mini-thesaurus on a subject of your choice.


Your thesaurus must:
• Include 100-120 entries (i.e., 100-120 different terms)
• Include scope notes where appropriate
• Indicate preferred terms, broader terms/ narrower terms, and related terms
• Be presented in alphabetical order

Your commentary must:
• Identify the purpose of your thesaurus;
• Identify the intended users and their needs;
• Outline the scope and content of the thesaurus;
• Comment on the problems you encountered and the decisions you made in selecting preferred terms and in establishing relationships between terms;
• Discuss how you evaluated the users’ needs and how you could ensure that your thesaurus meet their needs.
• Include citations and references.


You will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:
• Application of thesaurus construction principles and rules;
• Understanding of user needs;
• Depth of commentary and investigative effort;
• Use of citation and references.


Australian Institute of Family Studies Family. (2014). Family Thesaurus, available from

NISO. (2010). ANSI/NISO Z39.19-2005 (R2010) Guidelines for the Construction, Format, and Management of Monolingual Controlled Vocabularies,

Ryan, C. (2014). Thesaurus construction guidelines: an introduction to thesauri and guidelines on their construction. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy and National Library of Ireland,

University of Western Ontario (2008). Introductory tutorial on thesaurus construction,

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