CAS 204


Begin your search using some of the keywords you can think of for your topic. I’d like to research what, if any, impact late-night comedy shows have on viewers’ political participation, so I’ll begin with a few simple keywords:

  • politics
  • comedy
  • late-night

Since you only want scholarly sources for your literature review, you can limit your results as shown below:

image of facets in LionSearch limiting results to scholarly publications

This quick search yields several promising results, such as the following articles:

  • “Political Comedy Shows and Public Participation in Politics”
  • “Priming Effects of Late-Night Comedy”
  • “A Typology for the Study of Entertainment Television and Politics”
  • “The Influence of Late-Night TV Comedy Viewing on Political Talk: A Moderated-Mediation Model”
  • “Taking Late-Night Comedy Seriously: How Candidate Appearances on Late Night Television Can Engage Viewers”
  • “Hearing It From Jon Stewart: The Impact of The Daily Show on Public Attentiveness to Politics”
  • “The Daily Show Effect : Candidate Evaluations, Efficacy, and American Youth”
  • “Communication Mediation Model of Late-Night Comedy: The Mediating Role of Structural Features of Interpersonal Talk Between Comedy Viewing and Political Participation”

The last article in the above list, published in the most current issue of the journal Mass Communication and Society, looks especially promising.


In addition to an idea for another search term (the phrase “political participation”), I can also find other sources in the References at the end of  all these articles.  These additional sources will also yield other ideas for keywords and phrases.

Looking at the last article in our list above, you’ll find the article “Values, Communication Behavior, and Political Participation” by M. Sotirovic and J. M. McLeod in the reference list. You’ll be able to find the full text of this article by putting the title in LionSearch.

Many articles, such as the one by Sotirovic and McLeod, will include subject terms and author-supplied keywords in the indexing (see Example 1), or list keywords in the article beneath the abstract (see Example 2) to provide additional terms for you to use when searching.

Image of journal article indexing showing subject terms and author supplied keywords


Image of journal article abstract and keywords


You can combine subject headings and keywords in The CAT to search for books. See the Advanced Search strategy shown below:

Image of an Advanced Search strategy in The CAT


Searching The CAT, you can find the following books from the References in the article “Communication Mediation Model of Late-Night Comedy: The Mediating Role of Structural Features of Interpersonal Talk Between Comedy Viewing and Political Participation”:

  • Laughing Matters: Humor and American Politics in the Media Age
  • Talking Together: Public Deliberation and Political Participation in America
  • Entertaining Politics: Satiric Television and Political Engagement

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