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PSYC 101: General Psychology - Shaban: Finding Background Information


Articles, Books, & More...

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Step 1: Search Terms from Research Question

Good Reaserch Question = Poor Search Terms:

How does social media impact users' perception of their body image?

 Find important words, and refine ambiguous terms

How does social media impact users' perception of their body image?

social media (define impact) (define user?(perception implied by body image)

Good Search Terms:

social media, impact -> change,  user, body image


Step 2: Get Background Information

Finding Background Information


  • Overview   -   Gain a broad understanding of your topic
  • Definitions - Be an informed reader
  • Notable Names - Know the major players
  • Dates & Events - Contextualize your topic
  • Bibliographies - Fish those citations!

          General Encyclopedias

               Use Fetch to find online encyclopedia entries aka Research Starters for your search terms. Body Image

               Other useful online encyclopedias:
                              Wikipedia: Body Image (Remember, use only for preliminary research and information from appropriate references)

         Subject Specific Encyclopedias

  •          Extensive - Gain a more in-depth understanding of your topic


  • Definitions - Be an informed reader

Step 3: Gather More Search Terms

Build a list of keywords and synonyms


Body Image • Self Image • Personal Perception

User • Heavy/Light User • Women • Men •Teens • Kids • Boys • Girls • Adolescents

Improved • Better • Increased • Decreased • Reduced • Satisfaction• Dissatisfaction • Pride • Shame

Social Media • Social Networks • Facebook • Myspace • Twitter • Instagram

Research Tip: Use a Concept Map to Brainstorm