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Wellesley College Research Guides

WRIT 155: The Selfie in American Life


I hope this guide will provide some useful starting places for your research, as you work on your sourced papers. I'm available and happy to consult with you about any part of the research process, from finding and evaluating sources to understanding how to cite them. You can email me or make a a calendar appointment.

Karen​ Storz, Research & Instruction Librarian

SuperSearch Tips

SuperSearch can be a great place to get a panoramic view of a topic from a wide variety of sources. Some tips:

  • Start with a broad keyword search and scan the results to discover different themes, approaches, and interpretations, e.g., 
    • food justice
  • Scan the Subjects that come up in your results list for useful terms to try in new searches.
  • Use the filters to focus your search. For example, limit to books and e-books or scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals, or use the publication date filter to find articles or books published in the last 5 or 10 years.

General Search Tips

These search tips work in SuperSearch and most library databases.

Use quotation marks " " to search words as a phrase. This will narrow your results.

"self esteem"

Use AND to combine multiple concepts in your search. This will narrow your results.

selfie AND "self esteem"

Use OR to find different ways your topic could be expressed. This will expand your results. Group these related terms in parentheses, so the database interprets them first. The following search will find results that have either one of the phrases in parentheses along with selfie.

selfie AND ("self esteem" OR "body image")

Use an asterisk * to find variant endings (e.g., gender, gendered, feminine, femininity, etc.). This will expand your results, because again, you're providing more options.

selfie AND (gender* OR "sex role" OR feminin* OR â€‹masculin*)

Explore a Topic in Encyclopedias & Handbooks

Specialized encyclopedias, handbooks, companions, and other reference sources can be great places to explore a topic. They can summarize knowledge around a topic, synthesize scholarly discussions, define key concepts, and help you find keywords for further searches. They often include bibliographies as well, making them a good resource for identifying key books and articles on a topic. Try searching for a topic in one of the following databases to search multiple reference sources at once.