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SPCH 1311 | Amy Dopierala

Group Discussion Project


Group Discussion Project

  • Each student will choose a culture in which to research.
  • Each student will conduct thorough research on their chosen culture.
  • Each student will write a total of three paragraphs.
    • The first paragraph will be about the culture in general (i.e., a brief cultural summary).
    • The second and third paragraphs will be about a specific category chosen by you as it relates to the culture. One category only per paragraph. Some examples are dress, religion, food, cultural norms, interesting facts, etc.
  • 3 sources will be cited (parenthetically) within the post, as well as listed references at the bottom of the post.
  • Each student will respond thoughtfully to 4 peers.

Resources to Gather Background Information

The following resources will provide you some resources for background information. Doing background research will not only help you narrow your focus, but will also help you identify keywords to use when searching the databases for scholarly articles. 

Reference Databases

Boolean Operators 

Using Boolean operators in a database is highly recommended, as this approach usually generates the most useful results.  Databases are not "intuitive" like search engines (e.g., Google) - they must be "told" how to process a search query.  Boolean operators let you "tell" the database what you want to see in your results.  


Use AND to connect KEYWORDS - Retrieves sources with both/all terms [refines search]

Example: diabetes AND adult AND self-management 


Use OR to connect SYNONYMS & LIKE CONCEPTS - Retrieves sources with either/any term(s) [broadens search]

Example: heart attack AND (female OR women) AND symptoms


Use NOT to EXCLUDE word(s) - Eliminates sources with the word(s) following NOT 

Example: Omega-3 fatty acids NOT fish oils 

Identifying Keywords

When you are conducting your background research on your topic, consider the who, what, when, where and why of what you are reading, and highlight or write the main points down. You can use those as keywords in the databases!

Who, what, when, where and why

Research Databases

Use some of the databases listed below to locate scholarly resources on your topic. 

Database Video Tutorials 

Resource Guides