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COMS 356: Introduction to Behavioral Research Methods in Communication: Getting Started

This guide is intended to help you do library research for your assignment in this class.

Citation Guides

Getting Started

As you begin the research process for this class, think about the kind of information that you will need and where to find it.  Begin to consider what keywords best describe the information you want to find.  How will you decide that the resource is accurate or balanced? 

In this guide, you will find suggestions for how to begin your research.  The information is divided into the following categories:  Getting Started (+ links to Citation Guides), Databases, Evaluating Articles, Research Tips and Tutorials. These categories are meant to provide a starting place for your research, but are by no means comprehensive.

Search Strategies

  • Develop a list of keywords: Brainstorm a list of synonyms (words that mean the same or similar thing) and related words to expand your search.
  • Use double quotes: When searching with phrases (two or more words), be sure to join them together by using double quotation marks.
    • For example: “United States” or “canis lupus familiaris”
  • Use truncation: Truncation allows you to search for a root word and all of its various endings.
    • When using the search bar on the KU Libraries homepage or searching in library databases for articles, be sure to use a * to indicate the search should accept any letters that follow.
      • For example: a search for televis* Would retrieve records with the words television, televisions, televise, televised, televising, televisual, etc.
  • Use AND/OR/NOT: Boolean keyword searches link multiple search terms and return more efficient search results.
    • For example: “United States” AND televis*

Research Help

We can help with your research questions -- contact us by chat, phone, email, text or at a Research Help desk.