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COMM:1306 Understanding Communication - Humanistic Approaches: Search Tips

This guide will help students navigate the research requirements in COMM 1306: Understanding Communication - Humanistic Appraches, Darrel Wanzer-Serrano, Spring 2020

Search terms

Searching a library catalog or database does not always follow the same method as Google or other search engines. You will get the best results on InfoHawk+ if you search using subject headings from the Library of Congress. But how do you find them? Scrolling down in an item's record in InfoHawk+ will typically show the subject headings used and can provide search clues. Some useful subject headings for COMM 1306 are listed below. 

Fans (persons)

Fandom -- United States

Fan fiction -- history and criticism

Subculture -- United States

Mass media and culture -- United States

Sports -- social aspects

Popular culture -- psychological aspects

Potter, Harry (Fictitious character)

Supernatural (Television program : 2005- )

Rocky Horror picture show (Motion picture)

Follow the format listed, even if the subject isn't what you want. For example, if you want Korean fandoms, you would search for Fandom -- Korea or maybe you are interested in Fan fiction -- social aspects instead of Fan fiction -- history and criticism.

Likewise, if you aren't researching the samples above, follow the format and enter your subject. Replace Supernatural and its dates with Game of Thrones (Television program). You aren't required to include the dates, but the general format will remain the same.

You should also conduct multiple searches if your character and program or movie share a name, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (fictitious character), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Television program), and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Motion picture).



Not everyone has heard of Boolean searching...but you may have already performed these types of searches! Here's the quick overview:

What is Boolean?

Boolean logic gets its name from British mathematician George Boole (1815-1864). He devised a symbolic logic method that focused mainly on the operators AND, OR, and NOT. This logic method has been applied to information organization.

Why Boolean?

Using Boolean search operators can lead to more precise results.

How does a Boolean search work?

Three Venn diagrams highlighting AND, OR, NOT



Want to Use Advanced Boolean Searching?

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