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PUBA 313: Communication Skills for Administrators

Before you begin

Find keywords

Brainstorm to find terms you can use in your search query. If you can't think of several words or phrases to describe your topic try finding an encyclopedia article about it or about some aspect of it as you may find additional related words within that article. 

The following library databases provide you with access to encyclopedias and other reference resources:

To find resources about communication anxiety you may search our library databases or the web by using a few keywords such as: communication, speech, speaking, fear, anxiety, apprehension, unease, concern, worry. For more targeted searches try combining some words into phrases such as: "speech anxiety", "communication anxiety", "public speaking", "interpersonal communication", etc.

To get an idea of what's available try a broad search first. Use only a couple of keywords and do not apply any limiters unless absolutely necessary (e.g. if you need only peer reviewed resources do limit your results to scholarly articles). Based on the number and relevancy of your initial results refine your search by broadening or narrowing it. Try removing or adding keywords and limiters, combining different keywords, adding more databases to your query, etc. For example: if you need to expand your search query you may use an asterisk to truncate a term to get more results. For example: use nerv* to find results that include nerves, nervous, nervousness, nervosity, etc. Make sure you read the Search Tips section below to learn more strategies to adjust your search queries to get better results.


Search Tips

Quotation Marks " "

Use double quotation marks to find words in the exact order (i.e. "public administration", "health care", etc.), that is to search those words as a phrase.

Asterisk *

Truncation is represented by an asterisk (*). To use truncation, enter the root of a search term and replace the ending with an *, for example: manag* will search for manage, manages, managing, manager, management.


Use the Boolean search operators are AND, OR and NOT to create a very broad or very narrow search.

  • AND combines search terms so that each search result contains all of the terms. For example, business AND writing finds articles that contain both business and writing.
  • OR combines search terms so that each search result contains at least one of the terms. For example, college OR university finds results that contain either college or university.
  • NOT excludes terms so that each search result does not contain any of the terms that follow it. For example, communication NOT business finds results that contain communication but not business. 

Want to see these searching tips in use?

Watch our Smart Searching - Tips & Tricks video tutorial on YouTube


Finding and choosing databases

The types of materials available from our Library databases are plentiful and varied. They include: articles (peer reviewed, news, magazines), book reviews, e-books, statistics, reports, films and more.

Go to our A-Z Databases list to find access links to all our library databases and to other helpful resources or go to the Finding library materials page on this guide to find a short list of recommended databases for your research needs for this course including articles about "communication anxiety", "public speaking", "communication skills" and other related topics.