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COMM 101 - Understanding Mass Media - Prof. Snider - Fall22: Search Strategy

Develop a Search Strategy

Now that you have a Topic, you need to search for Sources to support your argument. Use your Topic Question for the Keywords you will use to find Books and Articles.

Your keywords are the meaningful subject words in your topic sentence.

Ex: Has the demand of a 24-hour online news cycle led to a decrease in journalism standards?


Think of new Keywords that are related to your Keywords.

Journalism; Media; Press; News; Reporting

Credibility: Accuracy; Standards; Ethics; Reliability; Trust; Fact-Checking (ALSO Skepticism; Criticism; Distrust; etc)

Online; Internet; Web



Try different Keyword combinations when searching.


Use AND to link terms together and narrow your search:

Journalism AND Reliability


Use OR to link terms together and broaden your search:

News OR Media AND Credibility


Use the Asterisk * (truncation) to search for different forms of a word:

Journal* searches for Journalism, Journalist and Journalists


Use Quotation Marks to keep Phrases together:

"Fact Checking"


If you are looking for pro and con arguments on your issue, you may want to add an addition term such as editoral, argument, commentary, debate etc to find those types of articles.

Search and re-search

Once you've started finding articles on your topic (see the Finding Articles tab on where and how to search), look at the subject terms to get ideas of other keywords to search under. When you read the abstract, make note of additional terms to look up.


Media Bias Chart (AdFontes)

AdFontes Media Bias Chart

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