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University of Portland Clark Library

CST 327: Argumentation and Advocacy: Most Important Counterclaim Research

Search Terms to Try

It can be difficult to find research articles in which the authors support one side of a controversy, because researchers avoid words such as "no effect," "not credible," "pro," etc. You might be successful with phrases frequently used in a research article's "Results" and "Discussion" sections:

  • Causality
  • Correlation*
  • Critique
  • Fail*
  • Insignificant
  • Little effect OR no effect
  • Little evidence Or no evidence
  • Minimal support

What's the Big Picture?

Go big! Obtain the results of multiple studies by adding these terms to your search:

  • Meta Analysis -- Researchers combine the data from multiple studies. Example:

Comstock, G., Scharrer, E., & Powers, J. (2014). The contribution of meta-analysis to the controversy over television violence and aggression. In D. A. Gentile, D. A. Gentile (Eds.). Media violence and children: A complete guide for parents and professionals, 2nd ed. (pp. 381-412). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/ABC-CLIO.

  • Systematic Review -- Researchers screen studies for inclusion in a literature review, and synthesize the studies' findings. Example:

Arriaga, P., Zillmann, D., & Esteves, F. (2016). The promotion of violence by the mainstream media of communication. In J. Vala, J., S. Waldzus, & M. M. Calheiros (Eds.). The social developmental construction of violence and intergroup conflict (pp. 171-195). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

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