This is the "Getting Started" page of the "CHI 430: Popular Culture in China" guide.
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CHI 430: Popular Culture in China  

Last Updated: Jan 12, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Getting Started Print Page

From Question to Keywords

A short video (less than 1 minute) on turning your question into keywords.


Developing Keywords

Before you can begin searching for information in a print or online resource, you need to identify keywords related to your topic. Key terminology can be found easily by scanning:

If you are still struggling, then try these suggestions:

  • Use a thesaurus to identify synonyms.
  • Find pictures related to your topic, then describe the picture.
  • Brainstorm keywords with a librarian, your instructor, or a friend.


Welcome to the guide for CHI 320: Gender Politics in Chinese Culture. 

This guide will help you find scholarly sources for your final research project.  If you are having difficulty finding good information, you can contact the reference desk by using any of the methods in the Ask-a-Librarian box. 

The most challenging part of any research assignment is deciding what you are going to look for and how to look for it.  If your research question is too broad or too narrow, chances are you will find nothing.  If you don’t have the correct words or word order, you will come up with sources that are not relevant to your topic.  The key is coming up with a specific question and then distilling it into the right combinations of words (keywords).


Developing Your Research Question

To develop your research question, you begin with a vague notion and ultimately develop that notion into a question that you can use to look for information.  Below is an example on how to take a notion and develop it into a searchable question that will enable you to develop keywords.

Vague idea:

Fox News and MSNBC

Developing the Idea:

Agenda setting and Fox News and MSNBC

Further refining your idea:

How is agenda setting theory
used on Fox News and MSNBC?

Specific Research Question

What role did agenda setting theory play in the
Fox News and MSNBC reporting of the 2012
presidential campaign?

Once you have your idea developed into a research question, you can develop your keyword list to effectively search the scholarly literature.




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