Newcomb's Wildflower Guide categorizes plants by flowers, plant type, and leaf type. So I count the petals, determine that the leaves are in an alternate pattern, and that each leaf is toothed. Using the lookup tables gives me a code of 533. I look up the code for a starting page number and a few pages in... Got it! :-)
Toothed White-topped Aster, Sericocarpus asteroidus.
I have been poking through various guides for a couple of weeks trying to make this ID. There are more little plants in need of IDs so I'll be giving Newcomb's another shot. This is getting exciting! :-)
And, I have a couple of guides by Marilyn Dwelley on their way:
* Summer & Fall Wildflowers of New England (recommended by Joyce)
* Spring Wildflowers of New England