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Communication 485: Research Methods: Home/Search Tips

This guide lists recommended resources for Communication 485 research projects, along with some search tips. Other resources may be appropriate, depending on research topics.

General Research Tools

Research@UWW searches "Everything" (articles, books, ebooks, videos, government documents, etc.) in all disciplines. Add filters like date or resource type (e.g., articles) after a search. Books, media, and more UW Whitewater searches just UW-W library holdings.

Google Scholar finds scholarly sources (e.g., journal articles). Configure it to link to subscription database content.

Google Books finds and describes books; previews may allow searching the text and reading all or portions of it online.

Databases by Subject or A-Z by title list Library subscription & free databases for articles, dissertations, statistics, etc.

Journal Search searches journal, magazine or newspaper titles to see if there is access online or in other formats.

Note: Licensed resources require a UW-W login (the e-mail/Canvas Net-ID ). The Troubleshooting page may help with difficulties.

Search Tips [Brief review]

  • Use AND between search terms to narrow your results. For example, searching "communicative competence" AND children means you want articles that discuss both topics. You will get fewer results when you use AND.
     
  • Use OR between search terms to expand your results. For example, searching children OR youth means you want articles that have either one of your search terms. You will get more results when you use OR.
     
  • Put quote marks around phrases. This means you want only articles that contain those words next to one another as a phrase.  Searching "communicative competence" with quotes will find only articles with those words in the text as a phrase. You will get fewer results when you use quotations to find exact phrases.
     
  • Using an asterisk (*) when you search tells the database you want all variations of a word; this is called truncation. For example, if you search for communicat*, you will get results for communication, communicate, communicative, etc.. This is especially helpful if you want to search both singular and plural forms of a word. Note: occasionally a database will use a different symbol for this function.
     
  • You can combine these tips into a single search by using nesting. For example, we could search (children OR youth OR teen*) AND "communicative competence". We put parentheses around our OR section to tell the database we want want articles using any of the words children, youth, or teen (with any kind of endings on teen, like teenagers). Then we use AND to find within those articles the ones that also include the exact phrase communicative competence .

Review Handout - Search Commands, Saving to Your Account, etc.

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