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COMM170/171 College Communications 2

Welcome to Centennial College's COMM170/171 College Communications 2 library guide. This guide will introduce you to the processes and resources needed to successfully complete your papers and assignments.

Example: Developing Keywords and Constructing a Search

Step 1. Describe your Topic
Does violent media make viewers more violent?
Step 2: Identify keywords for your topic.
Main Concept 1 Concept 2          Concept 3       
media violence  relationship
Step 3: Find synonyms 
Main Concept 1 Concept 2          Concept 3       
media violence relationship
film aggression family
television   parents
Step 4: Build a search 
Main Concept 1 Concept 2          Concept 3       

( media OR film OR television)  AND (violence OR aggression) AND (relationship OR cause/effect)

COMM171 Class Example: Constructing a search

Step 1: Topic Description

Horror movies appeal to us because they provide relief and release from undesirable emotions such as fear, anxiety and aggression in a harmless and enjoyable way.

Step 2: Identify keywords for the topic.
Step 3: Find synonyms
Step 4: Build a search

COMM170 Class Example: Constructing a search

Search Tips

Keyword Searching Tips

Before entering keywords in the search box, it is useful to write down several words that best describe your research topic. Use a thesaurus if necessary to generate more words.

Descriptive words can then be connected by using words such as AND and OR to form meaningful search statements.

Connecting Words/Boolean Logic

AND Narrows a search by joining keywords so to find articles and other documents that contain both of the keywords (e.g. communication AND downsize).

OR Broadens a search. Will find articles that contain at least one of these keywords (e.g. downsize OR layoff).

NOT Narrows a search by excluding a term. NOT connector will find articles that contain the first keyword but not the second keyword (e.g. web NOT Internet).

Other Tips

"Quotation marks"

Quotation marks are used to search keywords that are a complete phrase (e.g. "public relations").


Keywords within parentheses will be searched as a single unit within the search statement e.g. communication AND (downsize OR layoff)


When a keyword is truncated, the ending of the word is removed and replaced with a truncation symbol, usually an asterisk (*). A truncated keyword search will find articles with all instances of the root word and the root word combined with any possible ending (e.g. Canad*  - this will find Canada or Canadian).

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