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Communication Studies: Topics/Keywords

Communication Studies

Keywords to Try When Searching

Place quotation marks around phrases of more than 1 word when searching. (EX: "intercultural communication") The list below includes topic/keyword ideas for beginning communication research.

  • advertising
  • bias
  • broadcasting
  • broadcast journalism
  • business communication
  • campaign design and management
  • communication
  • communication theory
  • conflict management
  • conflict resolution
  • conversation analysis
  • copywriting
  • crisis communication
  • criticism
  • culture
  • debates or debating
  • deception
  • digital communication
  • discourse
  • ethical and unethical communication
  • health communication
  • intercultural communication
  • interpersonal communication
  • interpersonal relations
  • interpretation
  • investigative journalism
  • journalism ethics
  • language
  • magazine and feature writing
  • marketing communication
  • mass media
  • media consumption
  • media literacy
  • media studies
  • media portrayals or representations
  • narrative communication
  • new media journalism
  • news reporting
  • oratory
  • organizational communication
  • persuasion and social influence
  • photojournalism
  • political communication
  • popular culture
  • professional communication practices
  • public relations
  • radio and television
  • relational communication
  • rhetoric
  • rhetoric argumentation
  • rhetoric strategy
  • rhetoric style
  • semantics
  • small groups
  • social media communication
  • storytelling and narration
  • telecommunications
  • verbal and nonverbal communication
  • virtual reality and presence

Additional terms affecting communication:

  • Culture
  • Ethnicity
  • Freedom of Expression
  • Gender
  • Globalization
  • Risk
  • Sexual Orientation

Subject Headings to Try When Searching

When using an EBSCO database to search subject terms, change the "Select a Field" option to indicate "SU Subject Terms."  Place quotation marks around your subject terms as indicated above.

  • Advertising agencies
  • Broadcasting industry laws
  • Communication
  • Communication and culture
  • Communication in marketing
  • Communication in medicine
  • Communication in politics
  • Communication policy
  • Communication strategies
  • Communication -- methodology
  • Communication -- research
  • Communication -- social aspects
  • Cross-cultural communication
  • Digital media
  • Ethos (Rhetoric)
  • Internet advertising
  • Internet publishing and broadcasting and web search portals
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Mass media & public health
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Persuasion (Rhetoric)
  • Persuasive communication
  • Public health communication
  • Public speaking
  • Radio broadcasting
  • Rhetoric
  • Rhetoric & politics
  • Rhetoric & society
  • Television broadcasting

Finding and Narrowing a Topic

Find ideas in the syllabus, your text, class discussion, or Google News.

   Narrow down a broad topic by asking yourself
   the 5 W's: who? what? where? when? why?

   As you search the databases, looking at
   subject headings and abstracts can help you
                focus your topic.

Boolean Operators

Using Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT) with your keywords will help you narrow or expand your results.

The highlighted middle section represents the use of AND. Searching for poverty AND addiction will give you results with both words present. Therefore, your results are fewer.

Using OR between similar keywords will give you results that include both words. Therefore, your results are greater. A search for teenagers OR adolescents will retrieve either or both terms.

The NOT operator gives you results from only one of your words. Therefore, your results are fewer. Searching for addiction NOT alcohol will eliminate alcohol from the results.

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