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Hong Kong Baptist University Hong Kong Baptist University Library

ORGC 3006 Persuasion and Social Influence

Presentation and in-class activities for the ORGC 3006 Library workshop


When developing keywords for your topic, here are a few general rules to keep in mind: 

  1. Identify nouns and/or noun phrases only
  2. Get rid of noise words, e.g. of, the, an, on
  3. Use quotation marks for phrase search, e.g. "social media" "quality of life"
  4. Think of similar words/synonyms  

For example, for the topic: 

Are there any persuasive communication models to a health-related field?

This is how you can apply the general rules: 

1. Keep the nouns and/or noun phrases:

persuasion model health

2. Get rid of noise words:

are, there, any, communication to, related, field

3. Think of similar words/synonyms: 

model  --> theory, framework

4. Apply truncation mark to search words with variant endings:

persua*, fram*, theor*

Refine your result list

The screenshot below shows the search limits/refinement options available in Communication and Mass Media Complete, a major database for the subject of Communication.

You should make good use of these options to narrow down your results (e.g. source type and subject), especially when you are searching very broad terms. 

Getting familiar with these functions when searching in a particular database will definitely help save time!