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Fake News & Bad Info: Media Literacy Resources

Learn how language can be used to in a way that it affects the way people perceive reality. Unlike real news, whose purpose is to simply inform, the main purpose of fake news is to confuse and manipulate people.


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Reach out to a librarian if you have any questions about finding information in the library databases. Use the Ask-a-Librarian button at the left, or check beneath my profile pic below to see if I'm online for a Chat or feel free to reach out to me via email as well! I'm happy to help!

Learn How to Use Western Library's Database

Developing Search Terms

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How do I know what words to enter into the database's Search Box?

You may be assigned a topic to research or you may be asked to choose your own. Your topic will be your starting point in choosing search terms. Highlight terms that appear in your assignment

Types of search terms: 

  • keywords - a general list words related to your topic.
  • subject searches - see words listed or bolded in databases
    • nouns - the names of something or someone -- people, things, places
      •  example - "conspiracy theory,"  "Big Foot,"  QAnon, "Great Replacement Theory," ("critical race theory" OR CRT), Alex Jones, Tucker Carlson
  • Make a list of main search terms 
  • Create a list of alternate search terms - synonyms (different words that mean the same thing)
    • WHY? Different authors will use different terms that mean the same thing so If you can't find enough information using one search term, another
    • Consult a Thesaurus to find related or alternative words or synonyms.  
  • Combine search terms:
    • `"anti-Semitism" AND "fake news"
    • "Sandy Hook" and hoax

News Sources - Library Database

Library Databases - Current Events

  Research  Learn more about "Fake News" and other current events issues using the databases below.

Researching Social Media using Western Library Databases


Try out the Topic Finder Tool in Gale OneFile databases such as Communication and Mass Media (below). For example: you are searching for articles using the search term social media and fake news and a colorful chart of subtopics appears Click into individual subtopic cells to bring up a list of articles.

Topic Finder icontopic finder search box



Topic finder chart









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