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COMM 102 Interpersonal Communications - Prof. Kalfayan: Search Strategy

Find your Keywords

When searching the databases for articles, do not type in whole sentences.


For topic ideas: you can start with a dysfunctional behavior or phenomenon and then when that situation might occur. Conversely you can think about a common situation you are often in, and imagine potential (or actual) dysfunctional behaviors you have experienced or witnessed. 

Look through the Interpersonal Theories and think about how each may or may not apply to the situation.


Group Dynamics in the Classroom : Students not participating in classroom discussions

  • Co-Cultural Theory : Students feeling like outsiders due to ethnicity/gender identity/sexuality/religion/immigration status/language fluency etc. and not feeling like their voices/experiences are valued.
  • Privacy Management Theory: Students not feeling comfortable sharing their experiences in class as they do not know  if their classmates /instructor would then share that information with others.
  • Dyadic Power Theory: Students uncomfortable raising questions or challenging faculty behavior or speech as their instructor will be giving them their grade.


Think of other terms that mean the same or something similar (broader or narrower) to your original terms and try searching with those keywords too.

Teacher: Faculty, Instructor

Outsider: Marginalized, Non-dominant

Classroom:  Class, College, Classmates


Use the asterisk * to truncate words and widen your search.

Class* will search for Class, Classroom, Classmates etc.

Try your search terms in different combinations in the databases to get the greatest number of results.

Classroom Communication AND Diversity AND Co-Cultural Theory

College AND Communication AND Marginalized Students

Communication AND International Students AND Culture


You may need to broaden or narrow your terms depending on your search results:

Education (Broader) vs College (Narrower)

Race (Narrower) vs Minorities (Broader)


See the tab "Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles" for suggested databases and search tips, plus help on saving and printing your article.


Background Information

These sources are helpful for further research on theories and topic ideas. They do NOT contain journal articles.

Find additional Keywords

Read the abstract of any articles to find additional keywords to use. There will often be a list of subject terms and keywords the article was indexed under. It can give you new ideas on what to search.

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