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Research Guides

CIN240: Gross Out! The Body in Comedy

Tips for Building your Search

Choosing your Search Terms

Enter search terms on separate lines e.g., enter title of film on the top line, director's last name below, so as to articulate your search request. 

  • Quotations marks (search for specific phrases or names)

    • "Comedy Films", "John Waters""Female Trouble"

  • Asterisk / Wildcard * (search for root word with different endings)

    • Comed* = Comedy, Comedies, Comedian, Comedian's, Comedians, Comedic

 

Combine your Search Terms

Pair up search terms using Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to instruct databases to pull different combinations to narrow or widen the search results: 

  • AND (narrows your search)

    • laughter AND "motion pictures"

    • Paramount AND distribution

  • OR (widens your search)

    • film OR movies OR cinema

    • comedy OR "comedy films" OR slapstick

    • MGM OR "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer"

ProQuest Database

ProQuest  

ProQuest is a platform containing over 100 databases. ProQuest contains publications (i.e., newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, eBook titles, dissertation and theses) in different subjects areas including film. Remember you might find content in a non-film related resource from your time period, (i.e., newspapers, business or tech magazines).

 

1) Use the Advanced Search Tool  

screen shot of ProQuest Advance Search box

 

2) Sort your Results 

  • Sort your results (Relevance, Date) 
    • Sort by Date: It may be useful to arrange the results chronologically (oldest first) in order to follow the entire production process of a particular film, from gossip about potential stars to reviews and box-office grosses.

 

3) Using ProQuest Search Filters

  • Narrow your search results using filters on left sidebar:
    • Source Type (e.g., Scholarly Journals, Newspapers, Magazines, Trade Magazines)
    • Publication Title (e.g., Cinema Journal, New York Times, Variety)
    • Document Type (e.g., Reviews - film or books, Feature, Front Page/Cover Story, Article, Literature Review, Interviews, Editorial, or try excluding advertisements)

 

4) Mark relevant records

If you find interesting articles, be sure to . 

  • Go to the results page and click the check box to the left of the article title  
  • When you are ready to email the articles to yourself, scroll to the top of the results list and click on Email link (on right side)
  • Email the marked records to yourself 

Another option is to create a free ProQuest MyResearch account.

Explore other Databases

a) Google Scholar 

 

b) Other Popular Databases

  • JSTOR, Project Muse, and more 

c) Databases by Subject A-Z

 

Journals & Databases