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CMJ 324: Interpersonal Communication

Finding Scholarly Sources

The first three links below are specialized, subject databases that can be used to find academic journal articles.  Google Scholar is a tool that covers a wide array of subjects and scholarly materials, including some academic journal articles.

Searching Google for Popular Sources

Many of us already use Google when searching for information. But there are ways to navigate Google that make our searching more focused and our results more relevant. Spend some time playing around with some of the Google hacks below to see what you can find on your research topic.

 

Google search strategies described below

There are many ways to strategically search Google, in order to conduct more complex searches and focus your results. 

  • site:.org tells Google that you only want results from organization websites. You can also use site:.edu, or other relevant domains (for instance, site:.gov if you're interested in government information) and you can also search within specific sites for your topic, such as  site:ted.com/talks.

 

  • intitle: refers to any terms you want to ensure are in the title of the web page itself. This often produces a more relevant set of results.

 

  • quotation marks around "climate change" hold those words together so that Google searches for that exact phrase (rather than a search that returns the word climate or the word change).

 

  • ~coast tells the search that you want terms related to the word right after the tilde (~); for coast, this might include terms like coastal, coastline, waterfront, shoreline, and seaside.

 

  • minus sign in front of Alaska tells the search to exclude Alaska-related terms from your results; if there are places, topics, or issues that aren't relevant to your particular topic, you can exclude them this way, so that you have a more focused set of search results.

 

  • The date limiter can be found in the Tools section of your Google search (the Tools section is linked directly below and to the right of the search bar after you run a search).

 

APA Citation

 

Here are the formats for APA 7th edition journal article citations:

Reference list format:

Author last name, First name initial. Middle initial. (Year). Title of article: Subtitle of article. Journal Title, volume(issue), pages. doi

 

Example:

Francis, D. B., Zelaya, C. M., Fortune, D. A., & Noar, S. M. (2021). Black college women’s interpersonal communication in response to a sexual health intervention: A mixed methods study. Health Communication36(2), 217–225. https://doi-org/10.1080/10410236.2019.1673949

 

Warning:

You are often able to grab pre-made citations through the databases and Google Scholar.  Be aware that there are often errors in these citations.  For example, I grabbed the above citation from Google Scholar, and I had to fix both the title and the doi to make the citation correct.

Search Tips

In the databases:

  • Use Boolean terms to craft your searches
  • Immigrant Communities AND Somalis

 

  • Use controlled vocabulary (subject headings)
    • The databases have controlled vocabulary (called Subject Headings) assigned by the database editors to each article.  Once you identify a subject heading, it can help narrow your search results.

 

In Google Scholar:

 

  • Use AND to connect concepts (in capital letters)

 

  • Put quotes around phrases

 

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