UMGC Library

COMM 302: Mass Communication and Media Studies: Research Tips

A Library Research Guide

Research Tips for Communication and Media Studies

How do I choose keywords for my searches?

  • Words to include
    For your research assignments, try searching by the theory name and/or by the topic you are studying.
  • Use quotation marks
    If the theory or topic is longer than one word, you can optimize your search by putting quotation marks around the title. Using quotation marks will ensure that the database finds results that use that exact phrase.  
  • Use AND
    To search for both the theory and the topic together, you need to link your search terms with and. This strategy will narrow your search. 
"cognitive dissonance" and "media literacy"

Found too many results?

  • Add more keywords
    If you find that you are retrieving too many results, try adding more keywords to further narrow your topic.
"cognitive dissonance" and "media literacy" and communication

Found too few results?

  • Search for more general information
  • If you are having trouble finding enough information, try looking for more general information about the theory or topic you have chosen. This may require searching for the two topics separately, and then incorporating the information you find into a cohesive argument in your paper. 
"cognitive dissonance theory"
"media literacy"

 

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