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English: 76-100/101 - Interpretation & Argument: Gender & Media

Find resources for Interpretation & Argument sections. Use tabs to navigate sections. To access information on these sub-topics, select one from the pull-down menu on this tab.

Library Session Activity

Readers or information consumers recognize or attribute authority differently for authors of various sources.

Outcome:  Exploring factors that constitute credible authorship

Activity:  Exploring Authority

A.  Look at the following sources and rank their credibility from most credible to least:

  1. Tweeting During Presidential Debates
  2. Presidential Watch-Gender Gap
  3. Young Adults Voting

B. What factors did you consider for each of the sources above.

Research inquiry starts with one question and ends with many.  Here we will learn to identify steps that can be taken to enhance research inquiry and look at ways to identify how scholarly conversations may be constructed.

Outcome: Analyze how a research might identify arguments or additional questions in order to build a research inquiry and engage in scholarly conversation.


A.  Compare the following 2 videos:

How is the conversation presented in these videos?

List 3 possible inquiries that may be prompted by the video above.

B. How did you identify possible arguments or questions for further investigation?.

Understanding that searching requires the evaluation of various information sources and the ability to consider different strategies.

Outcome:  Use available search tools to construct various search strategies.


1.  Use the "padlet" tool on the right to identify key concepts or terms that you would use to research this topic.

2.  Use one of the databases in the "Finding Articles & More" box at the bottom of this guide to find and list 3 information sources using the keywords you provided.

3. Compare your search terms with terms suggested by the database:

  • how do they differ?
  • where the suggested terms helpful? why or why not?
  • how else might you improve your search terms?
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Finding Sources

Selecting the appropriate databases is difficult, since many are multi-disciplinary. The best approach is to think of relevant subject guides to your topic and check there for database suggestions.  See the Relevant Guides box on the right.

The following databases are good starting places for relevant information on gender, media and representation:

a.  MLA International Bibliography: though it is a citation database (no full-text) it has a wealth of information. 

b.  Literature Resource Center: a great source for criticism and analysis of literature and concepts.

c. PsychInfo: a great place for articles on social aspects of gender issues.

For primary sources, you'd want to look at case studies, films, etc., but you should also consider databases that includes primary sources and covers specific periods.  For example:

a.  Defining Gender, which provides access to primary sources focusing on 15th-early 20th century, covering conduct, politeness, family, body, etc.  These sources span a wide range and include images, pamphlets, diaries, government papers, and much more.

b.  Social and Cultural History - Letters and Diaries Online:  this database offers more than 650,000 pages of letters, diaries, autobiographies, oral histories, and other personal narratives--many never before published in print or electronic format dating as  early as 1675 to present.

(note:  If you cannot locate the journals in our libraries or databases (e-journals), you can always get them via Interlibrary Loan; also if you are off-campus or using a wireless connection, you need  to make sure you are authenticated via AnyConnect (see Off-Campus/Wireless Access).

If you are looking for books that are owned by Carnegie Mellon University, use our library catalog, CAMEO.  It is the library catalog and is the best way to find books, microfilm, videos, and other materials owned by the library.  It is not where you will find journal articles.

Here are some basic tips for searching library catalogs:

-- Whenever possible, use Advanced Search because it allows you to control how your topic is searched.  The default CAMEO search is a keyword search; to build a more specific search, use the advanced search option.  If you want tips for how to build searches, see the CAMEO Help with Search Operators page.  These tips work in other library catalogs as well.

-- Select "Match All", "Match Any", or "Match No") Terms to combine the search terms and try various search fields.

Here are some examples:

  • Gender (as a Subject) AND Media (as a Subject)
  • Masculinity (as a Subject) AND Case Studies (as a Word/Phrase)
  • Representation (as a Word/Phrase) AND (Gender)

-- View the full-record and note of the subject headings used in a catalog, usually listed as "Subjects".

This is an example of a record:

NOTE:  Some times a record would have only one subject heading, but if you click on the subject heading, you will be able to browse other books that will lead to more subject headings.

Important: Once you find a book you think you would like, note the location and the call number.  You will need both of these pieces of information to locate the book.

Still can't find what you need?

If you are looking for a book that we do not own, try the following:

  1. Check the University of Pittsburgh's Catalog PITTCat+: you are able to borrow books by getting a borrowing card (you'll need a valid CMU ID card). 
  2. Check E-Z Borrowgives you access to books from libraries in Pennsylvania.  You'll need your Andrew ID number, which is the second set of numbers on the bottom of your CMU ID card.
  3. Check Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (public library).  You can get a library card for free.  You'll need a proof of your current address.

You can also check other local library catlogs (see list).

>>> Please use the pull down menu to focus on topics within this subject.

Selecting the appropriate databases is difficult, since many are multi-disciplinary. The best approach is to think of relevant subject guides to your topic and check there for database suggestions.  Here are relevant guides for this course:

Art - The Art guide is a good source for information relevant to representation.

Business & Economics Databases - This list of databases is a good start for information related to marketing and advertising.

English Guide - Check here for general databases, but also if you are looking for historical coverage.

Ethnic & Gender Studies - Check here for further information about ethnic or gender topics.

Film Studies - Find information on film

Psychology Databases - A good place to look for social aspects of gender, media, and representation.

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