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MCM 120-S Speech Communications - Russo

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Research Sources

Reference resources can help you get an overview of a topic. They also give you an idea of key terms associated with a topic that can help you with further searching.


Another place to search for needed information is simply to 'Google it.' Again, it is important to think about what results you are finding: Who is the author or sponsor, why is the information being published? Is there obvious bias? How authoritative is the soure you find?

Google gives you so many results it is difficult to know which ones are useful or reliable. Articles rise to the top of a search based on the number of times they are clicked on; this might not be the best way to choose what will be most important for your search.

But,Google allows several ways for you to target your results. If you implement some of the following techniques, you will find that you can leverage the power of Google to help you find solid results for your project. Try out some of the tips below.

Get the most out of your Google search

Searching in Google can also help you uncover relevant articles for your research. The problem is, how to find results that will be helpful? 

SITE Searching

One way to target results in Google is to employ the site search. This requires you use a specific phrase before adding search terms to tell Google you only want results from a specific website or domain. The search always begins with site + colon + URL or Domain all without any spaces; next, add a space and insert your search terms. See the examples below - 

  • 'artificial intelligence' OR AI   This search phrase tells Google that you'd like results from the New York Times website that mention artificial intelligence as a phrase, or that mention AI.  **This is one of the best ways to search for articles on a given topic in the New York Times** Notice that we put artificial intelligence in quotes, to ensure that Google looks for the phrase, not the individual words.
  • site:gov hydroponic agriculture  This search phrase tells Google you'd like to see articles, reports, etc., from government websites that include information about hydroponic agriculture. You could add more terms, if you wanted to narrow or target the search still further.
  • site:edu 'free speech'  movement  This search phrase tells Google to retrieve articles published by or in educational institutions about the free speech movement. Note: The phrase 'free speech' is put in quotes to make sure that the articles retrieved include that phrase.

Other search tips in Google

  • Limit the date of your results by inserting the phrase after + colon + year or date  without any spaces
    • after:2016 Hate speech regulations college campuses  This phrase tells Google that you'd like all your results to have been published after 2016 (note: the after phrase can come before or after your search terms)
    • You can also limit your results to a given date range by clicking on Tools under the search bar, and then Any Time under that.
  • Search for an exact phrase by putting your terms in quotes when entering them in the search bar, e.g., "hate speech" -- using the quotes will ensure you retrieve results with that exact phrase.

Today's Assignment

Open this worksheet, make a copy to save to your computer. Please send it to your professor at the end today's session.

Evaluating Information