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COMM 185A: New Media and Communication (Chopra): Sample Search

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Sample Search

Searching databases for journal articles is a bit more challenging than using tools such as Google. The good news is that you have a lot more control over how you design the search. This also means you should get better, more targeted results.

  • Before you start your research, try focusing your topic by writing a one sentence research question. For example: Do communication styles by college students differ by gender?

  • Identify the main ideas in your research question.
    • communication styles
    • college students
    • gender

  • Boil the statement down to keywords, or the most important elements of your issue. EX: communication, gender, sex, college students, young adults

  • Use an asterisk to find variations of a word. EX: communicat* will find communicate, communication

  • Then, separate the keywords with the "and" and "or" connectors EX: communicat* and (gender or sex) and (college student* or young adult*)

The above search strategy in the Communication Source database will look like this. Note that I changed "Select a Field" to "SU Subject Terms" for the first two boxes so only the index terms will be searched. The last line searches the full record.

This search retrieved 119 peer-reviewed citations.

Page updated by Sophia Neuhaus on 4/5/2018