Media Depictions of Society

Search Strategies

For academic and news databases, as well as the catalogue for books

  • Develop a search statement
  • A search statement is a list of keywords, combined using Boolean Operators (AND; OR; NOT)
    • AND - this will combine concepts, all of which must be found in your list of results
      • gender AND representation
    • OR - either this concept or that concept (or both).  This is helpful for generating a list of synonyms.  Use synonyms to anticipate the different ways different authors may refer to the same idea.  A thesaurus can be helpful for this
      • film OR movie
    • NOT - do not include this concept
      • radio NOT podcast
    • Quote marks - find specific phrase or name
      • "video game"
      • "shawshank redemption"
    • Truncation - any combination of letters to follow
      • canad* - will find Canada, Canadian, Canadian's, etc.
      • sex* - will find sexual, sexuality, sexualism, etc.
    • combine one or more of these operators
    • put a list of synonyms in brackets
  • For example, my topic might be to explore the sexualization of female roles in motion picture.  My search statement might look something like this:
    • sex* AND (female OR women OR girl) AND (film OR movie OR "motion picture")

News and Magazine Databases

Web Resources

Books and Films

Databases for Journal Articles

Other Subject Guides