Clinic Sessions for Engineering Students – Questions Asked After Sessions (Part 1)

So, it seems it ain’t over until the fat lady sings…

We have been receiving emails from some Engineering students after the clinic sessions.  Students were either not getting an angle on their topic or are pursuing the many diverse patterns and trends they read about.

So, they’ve got either too hazy a topic  or too many topics wrapped up in one supposed topic.

Here are some examples:

  1. Social media and citizen journalism
  2. Social media and how it encourages teens to be promiscuous, display violent behavior because of online gaming, buy luxury goods because celebrities tout what they wear in their Facebook.

We will address #1 in this post and #2 in the next post.


Here are some suggestions and searches to try out.

You would need to have either looked through the EG1413 Breeze presentation or attended our clinic sessions to fully apply the searches.

Social media and citizen journalism

1. Students wanted to know about social media encouraging online citizen journalism.

2. The question is – what is the impact of this on lives? Especially in Singapore.

3. Do a search in Business Source Premier, Communication and Mass Media Complete and Communication Abstracts:

4. Sort by Relevance.

5. Look at:

  • Subject Terms Thesaurus and Subjects frames.
  • Article title.
  • Subjects listed for each article.

6. Look out for aspects of the topic you are interested in. Read the abstracts.

7. List keywords describing these aspects.  Some examples:

  • Threats of censorship affecting online citizen journalism.
  • Business, marketing or advertising potential.
  • Credibility of news from such sites.
  • Effects on news reporting.
  • Its role in crisis management.
  • Etc…

8.  Select one aspect. Use just 1 or 2 keywords describing the aspect you have chosen. Run another search combining these keywords with your original search.

7. If you have dismal hits, apply the 3 main techniques of increasing your search results:

  • Use alternative keywords. 
  • Use truncation *.
  • Remove irrelevant keyword/s.

 8. Proceed to search from a different perpsective. Try something like this (Note: keywords for social media are removed):

9. Apply similar searches in Factiva. Do not limit to Singapore news sources or any regions in your first search.

10. Sort by Relevance.

12. Look at:

  • Keywords summary on left frame.
  • Headline and lead paragraph. 
  • Source.

10. Your next search would limit to a region you are interested in. Your choice will be guided by the results in the first search.

11. Continue applying search techniques and tips covered in clinic sessions and Breeze presentation until you can start brainstorming and suggest recommendations.

Email us if you need more help:

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