COMS 356: Intercultural Communication Research: Search Strategy

People on the Earth
  • The following library and Internet resources are geared toward the research needs of CSUN students taking Communication Studies 356: Intercultural Communication.
  • Choosing the best resources to use for research involves several factors, including timeliness, intended audience, level of detail needed, as well as course requirements.

A Word About Culture:

Since the definition of culture varies, the following information is based on its broadest definition to reflect the diversity of the people residing in the United States. The Library of Congress, which sets subject heading standards or "authorities" for many of our library databases and our catalog, as well as the U.S. Census Bureau, which sets standards for the statistical classification of race and ethnicity and also for ancestry, strongly influence the terminology used to describe groups in databases and publications. Furthermore, this terminology changes over time to reflect current usage. Keep in mind the denotative and connotative uses of these terms may directly influence your search results.

Search Tips:

  • The use of the asterisk (*) is a "wildcard" that most databases allow you to use to search a root word and variable endings to broaden search results. For example:
    • latin* (retrieves "latin," "latins," "latino," "latinos," "latina," "latinas")
  • The use of the word "or" in between synonyms or related words broadens search results by including either term in the search results. For example:
    • black* or african american* (retrieves the singular and plural forms of the words)
    • women or female*
  • The use of the word "and" between keywords narrows search results by requiring that both or all terms appear in the search results. For example:
    • african american* and women
    • latina* and communicat*
  • Use parentheses when you combine "or" and "and" searches. For example:
    • (muslim* or islam*) and united states
    • (latino* or chicano* or mexican american*) and (intercultural* or cross cultural*)