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COMM 1222 Research Guide: Interpersonal Communication

Spring 2017

Finding a Topic

Deciding on a topic can be the hardest part about starting a research project.

  • Find a topic of interest and one that fits your research assignment
  • Find background information using Encyclopedias and books
  • Start with the library catalog
  • Keep a list of your terms

Search Tips for Resarchers

Selecting Key Words

  • Formulate your research question, then break it into key concepts
  • Identify terms
  • Consider synonyms. For example, you could use global warming, climate change, or Greenhouse effect

Narrowing and Expanding
Too Many Results? Try Narrowing Your Search by:

  • Time period
  • Location
  • Specific aspect or event

Not Enough Results? Try Expanding Your Search by:

  • Search for related issues or industries
  • Try additional keywords

Additional Tips
Are there any databases or indexes you haven’t searched yet?
Keep in mind, some topics are so new (especially current events), you may not be able to find many books, so you might want to look at newspapers or periodicals.