KEYWORDS are the terms related to your topic that you use to create searches. It's important to try a variety of keywords, and to broaden and narrow your search appropriately. So if you're thinking about researching differences in media representation of female and male politicians, begin by brainstorming alternate keywords for those terms:
|MEDIA||TELEVISION, FILM, MOVIES, PUBLISHING||NEWS MEDIA, WORD CHOICE, EDITING, NEWS COVERAGE, NEWSPAPERS|
|FEMALE POLITICIANS||WOMEN||SENATORS, CONGRESSWOMAN, CANDIDATES, MOTHERHOOD, INDIVIDUAL NAMES|
|REPRESENTATION||DEPICTION||FOCUS, DESCRIPTIONS, UNFAIRNESS, DIFFERENCES, NEGATIVE|
"FEMALE POLITICIANS" AND NEWS COVERAGE
ELECTIONS AND MOTHERHOOD AND MEDIA
"HILLARY CLINTON" AND MEDIA REPRESENTATION
Quotation marks search as phrase, meaning "POLITICAL DISCOURSE" will only return results with those words in that order, which severely narrows your search, so use them wisely! "SOCIAL MEDIA" in quotes is a good idea, "WHY WOMEN POLITICIANS HAVE MORE NEGATIVE COVERAGE" is NOT a good idea as those words are unlikely to appear in exactly that order.
AND narrows your search [results will include ALL terms]
OR broadens your search [results will include EITHER term]
Use them together:
(women OR females) AND "political campaigns" AND media
[the same as searching women AND "political campaigns" AND media + females AND "political campaigns" AND media]
In the course, your sources may come from popular media, blogs, or social media. Make sure that you are taking the source into consideration in your project. If you are getting facts from a source, ensure that it is credible. If you are analyzing or critiquing a source, make sure it's clear in your project that you understand the limitations of that source.
Before using a source for factual information, ask yourself:
Is this information up-to date?
Does it give evidence or a citation?
Does the author of the source identify themself and do they have credentials about the topic they are discussing?
Does the resource exist to make money or to educate or for some other purpose?
If you need help determining if a source is credible, please email Haley or Chat with a Librarian 24/7.