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FMP 350 - Media Theory and Ethics

This guide provides resources to support the Media Theory and Ethics course and assignments.

What is Peer Review?

Advanced Kinds of Search Strategies

There are four kinds of searching options. Good searchers are aware of each one and when and how to use them interchangeably or based on the database requirements.

1. Simple word strings. I call this building-block searching. 

2. Boolean searching.  See a more detailed description on this page.

3. Natural language to subject headings and sub-headings. You must use subject headings or at least be aware of them when using PubMed and Medline. 

4. Citation Pearl Growing. Finding a good article or source with a current and useful bibliography may lead you to the kinds of articles you need. Note the importance of finding the primary authors who are doing research in your field. Pay special attention to locating a literature review on your topic Literature review articles cover the current literature in one central location.

Accomplished and skilled researchers are able to determine basic aspects of database organization using multiple strategies. Good researchers understand the usefulness of bakground information, bibliographies and are conversant with the vocabulary of the discipline. Good researchers are familiar with a wide variety of tools and use them wisely, not dependent on one specific source.

What is Boolean Searching: a video

Boolean is the common way to search periodical databases. This video shows quite clearly good strategies also demonstrated in class.

Evaluating Information: CARS


--Information is from a trustworthy source.

--The author's credentials are available.

--The author or organization is a known or respected authority.


--The information is up to date, truthful, with sufficient detail.

--The audience and purpose reflects attempt to be complete and accurate.


--The author attempts fair, balanced, objective, reasoned,

--There is an absence of fallacy

--There is no apparent slant or biased tone.


--This item lists sources used and is well documented.

--Contact information is supplied,

--Information can be substantiated or corroborated; claims are  supported with evidence.

This rubric was designed for evaluating web sites but it is also useful for examining articles and books as well.


CARS criteria developed by Robert Harris, Vanguard University