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ANTH 2140 - Media Assignment

This guide is designed to help students in Lisa Cooke's ANTH 2140 course with their media assignment.



This guide is to help you with your media assignment for ANTH 2140. Here you'll find research help, recommended library resources, tips for finding resources online, and citation information.

Don't forget that you can always contact your librarian, Brenda, for help!

Video Series

Here are some videos from 2020. Things may look a little different, but these are a useful reference point for what was covered in class.

Your Topic

Getting Started with Your Topic

Thinking of a topic might be difficult. Try browsing one of the Indigenous news websites listed on the websites tab to get an idea of what topics are available if you are stuck. You can also scroll through your regular news outlets or social media: what is being talked about right now?

Too big of a topic will quickly overwhelm you with sources. You may need to narrow down your topic. Think about what aspects of the topic are currently being discussed in the media. Maybe a politician recently made a comment that sparked a debate, maybe a new piece of evidence was revealed, or maybe new actions are being taken.

How is your topic being talked about in the media? Think about:

  • colloquial language: how would people refer to a concept in day-to-day life?
  • is there a particular phrase that keeps being used and discussed in different contexts?
  • synonyms for your topic/terms
  • other aspects of your topic: the news might be more interested in one part of your topic than another
  • important people of your topic
  • tone differences: you might think "respectful protest," but a headline might read "attackers of..."

Thinking outside the box and using these points to think about your topic will help you search for sources more effectively.

Staying Organized

Staying Organized

Organization will be key for this assignment. Below are some handouts that will help you keep track of what you search and what you find. If you keep track of everything now, later on when you go to write your paper it will be much easier!

Tips and Tricks

Some of these tips might seem basic or obvious, but they will help you avoid losing track of your research and stay on track.

  • Keep track of what you searched, and where you searched.
    • What keywords did you use and in what database?
    • You might think you will remember what search worked the best, but when you go to repeat the search next week you may find that you're mistaken!
    • Use the Database Search Log above to get you started.
  • Save screenshots of what you find online, especially tweets and comments.
    • Anything you find online can be deleted at any time.
    • Name your screenshots so you can find them when you are writing your paper.
    • Make sure you also save a URL so you can cite comments and tweets properly.
  • Identify a naming convention for your screenshots and downloaded files and use it consistently to organize them so you can easily find files later on.
  • Save more than you think you will need, but not so much that you will get overwhelmed.
  • Try using the above Sample Data Collection Spreadsheet to sort your resources.
    • You can organize them by the tone of the article or comment, what side of an issue the author was on, or however makes the most sense to you.

Finding Resources - Library

Finding Resources: Library

Below are your two best bets for finding news articles in the library. These databases have different kinds and amounts of Canadian news.

Why use a library database to find news articles when everything is online? Online news is convenient, but it is less stable than a library database--articles can be taken down or changed over time. Using database features, you can make the list of results very relevant, something that is more difficult to do online. We will demonstrate this more during our workshop.

Nexis Uni

Nexis Uni (formerly known as LexisNexis Academic) has full text articles from newspapers from around the world, including Canada, from national papers to small local papers like Alaska Highway News (Fort St. John). However, it contains only mainstream media; no Indigenous-run publications.

Tips for searching Nexis Uni:

  • Use the main search bar
  • You can use advanced search techniques in the search bar like quotation marks, AND/OR, and parentheses.
  • Sort Newest to Oldest to find the latest news
  • Use the limiters on the left side of search results. For example, Sources can give you an overview of where news is coming from.
  • Use the switch labeled Group Duplicates to hide identical articles
  • Do not save the URL of an article from the address bar. Instead, use the instructions below on how to link to articles

Search alerts are not available for this database. However, you can repeat your same search and choose the date range you are interested in under "advanced options."

Linking to Nexis Uni

1. Locate the article you want to link to and click on the title to open the full-text.

2. Click on the permalink icon on the top of the page

3. On the resulting popup page, select the full URL, and use your browser tools to copy the link (e.g., CTRL C / Command C)

4. Add this prefix to the front of your link:

Your final permalink that you will add will look like this: 

Finding Resources - Web

Finding Resources: Web

Searching on the internet can find a variety of sources. Google is your best bet to find Indigenous-run sources, and to find an ongoing conversation in the form of comments and tweets.

Google Tips

  • Not many, but some library techniques will work in Google: use quotation marks for phrase searching; use OR (must be all caps) to search synonyms or related terms
  • Choose News then Tools to find some limiters: you can sort by most recent or only results from the last week
  • Check for comments on news websites; this is where a great deal of discussion can take place
  • Don't feel limited to news results: websites like Wikipedia can be a great place to get an overview of a topic and gather some vocabulary words for searching
  • Google has come to an agreement with the Government of Canada re: the Online News Act so Canadians can continue to access news via Google

Social Media

  • You can no longer search X (formerly Twitter) without having an account.
  • Is there a hashtag commonly used for your story?
  • If there is too much activity on X, look at some overall numbers: how many posts (formerly known as tweets) in the last day? How many replies to one specific post?
  • With Canada's Online News Act, Meta no longer makes news content available to Canada via their services, Facebook and Instagram and is not interested in coming to an agreement the way Google did. For the purposes of this assignment, please note that this decision to pull news content has impacted Indigenous news and communities
  • Facebook is often not a place of civil discussion of controversial events: it used to be can be a good place to find comments on news articles, but proceed with caution. You won't find news articles anymore, but may find discussion about news topics that you can then go and try and find the original news sources. Or, a post may provide a link but purposely "break it" by adding spaces
  • Instagram and TikTok: Lot of Indigenous creators talking about Indigenous issues. Note that TikTok has a problematic history with suppressing material.
  • Reddit
  • Comments on social media can be plentiful, but also really brutal to read

Indigenous-run Media Sources

Indigenous-run media sources

It can be difficult to find Indigenous voices in mainstream media. Several of the links under Canadian Alternative News Sources are Indigenous-run. In particular, check out:

Screenshots and Plugins


Anything on the internet might change from day to day. Take screen captures of tweets, comments, online news articles...anything that could change or get deleted.

  • Windows: ctrl-alt-print screen OR Fn+print screen OR use the snipping tool.
  • Mac: shift-command-3 OR shift-command-4

The browser plugins below are useful because they will capture the whole webpage you are on (instead of taking a screenshot, scrolling down, taking another, etc.)

Citation Tips

How do I cite this?

Some resources you will be using for this assignment will require different citation formats than what you may be used to. The TRU Citation Guides can be used as a starting place, as well as the links below for specific rules.

Don't forget you can ask at the library for citation help!

Tip: There's a good chance if you are trying to cite a type of resource, someone else has as well. My strategy is to search on the internet for the citation style and the type of resource, then look for an answer from the citation style itself or from another university library.

  • For example, I might search "APA cite website comment"; the first few results are from other university libraries and the APA blog and give examples and instructions.

APA Resources

Chicago Style Resources

MLA Resources

MLA was updated in 2021 from the 8th to 9th edition; when finding instructions online, check that they reference the 9th edition.