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About this guide

This guide was written for Rose Meagher's Spring 2021 section.

Below are some links for background on the three research paper topics. 

Go to the Article Search page to get to the article databases (see left-margin navigation area also.)

Here are instructions for off campus access.  

Two current events databases:

These databases provide very good overviews of topics in current events or current controversies. I've included links to some articles in them below.

Big Tech and censorship

Many, many ways to approach this!  Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

  • State censorship of social media and search engines, for example in China or Saudi Arabia
  • Who decides?  Humans or technology?
  • Is it censorship or is it good governance?
  • Where does your freedom of speech end, and my safety begin?
  • Where is the line between content filtering and censorship?

Cancel culture

Cancel culture is a newer and online version of boycotting and ostracism, or a combination of the two, so I'm including a quick encyclopedia article with history about boycotting, and another with discussion of ostracism.

Some notes for researching the topic:
  1. Be aware that the phrase "cancel culture" is fairly recent (the Greenspan article linked above documents the phrase to 2017; the Bromwich article documents it to 2016). Because scholarly communication and publishing can be quite slow, this means that searching only or primarily on that one phrase will be very frustrating -- you will likely find few articles.
  2. Be aware that the phrase is now being used by many people to mean many things. As you research it and write about it, be sure to explain how you are defining the phrase.
  3. Think about other terms that can be used to mean the same thing. Some examples: online vigilantism and online activism, call-outs, cancel movement, etc. 
  4. Think about specific examples of the phenomenon, for example:  in reaction to #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, safe spaces on campuses, trigger warnings, etc. There are also specific people, both famous and not so famous, who have been 'canceled', and their names may be useful as search keywords.
  5. When you find good articles, be sure to go through their bibliographies (references) thoroughly, since there you will likely find more sources.

Fake news

Things to think about:

  • It's all about perspective, or POV:  my news is your "fake news", and your news is my "fake news" ...  Are there any facts anymore?
  • What are the differences between misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and so on?
  • How is it disseminated?  Social media, of course. Also new news vehicles, e.g. OAN, The Intercept, etc.
  • What is the role of technology, AI, algorithms, etc.? Is there any role or place for human editorial oversight?

The future of print books

Here are some ideas for how to work with this topic:

  • How are people's reading habits changing?
  • What does neuroscience show about different reading media?
  • What do consumer shopping habits show?

Marquette policies

Below is a link to an index page for existing Marquette policies ... 

Also, there's a link to the main trade pub for higher ed, The Chronicle of Higher Education, which will be good for finding out what's going on other campuses.

Social media influencers

Product marketing is a big function of influencers. Therefore, be sure to search in the business databases.  

Also, social media influencers are the latest version of celebrity endorsements. Below are several encyclopedia articles about different aspects of that. These articles may give you other keywords to use in your searches, and ideas for how to focus the topic.

To mask or not to mask ...

It will be easy to find sources for this topic, but focusing your search, or winnowing down the results may not be ...  The arguments "out there" have changed through time also.  Now, some of the main divides center around:

  • Effective or not effective?
  • Personal freedom vs. community safety
  • Authority to impose mask requirements: who has the legal authority? 
  • What are the implications or masking for different ethnic groups? 

Below are a few sample articles ...