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Body Image

Get a start on your research on body image

Key Search Words

Use the words below to search for useful information in books and articles.

  • body image
  • self image
  • beauty culture

Depending on the focus your research takes, some of these terms may also help:

  • media
  • nutrition
  • eating disorders
  • cosmetic surgery
  • obesity
  • body dysmorphic disorder
  • muscle dysmorphia

Start Learning About Your Topic

Background Reading:

It's important to begin your research learning something about your subject; in fact, you won't be able to create a focused, manageable thesis unless you already know something about your topic.

This step is important so that you will:

  • Begin building your core knowledge about your topic
  • Be able to put your topic in context
  • Create research questions that drive your search for information
  • Create a list of search terms that will help you find relevant information
  • Know if the information you’re finding is relevant and useful

If you're working from off campus, you'll need to sign in. Once you click on the name of a database, simply enter your student ID (without the W) and your six-digit birth date.

Top Picks:

All of these resources are free for MJC students, faculty, & staff. 

Create Research Questions to Focus Your Topic

Body image is a complex topic that is best dealt with by narrowing your focus. Do some background reading, and use the questions below to help you focus your topic. Once you have a more narrow topic, develop specific research questions (for an example, see the research questions on Body Image in our Developing Research Questions guide).

  • What is body image?
  • How is one's body image developed? What is the role of family, community, and the media in creating body image?
  • How do body image issues differ among men, women, teens and children? 
  • How do diet, nutrition, or exercise affect body image?
  • What is the connection between body image and cosmetic surgery?
  • What is the connection between body image and eating disorders?
  • What steps can be taken to improve one's body image?
  • Based on what I have learned from my research what do I think about the issue of body image?

Find Books in the Library Catalog

Why Use Books:

Use books to read broad overviews and detailed discussions of your topic. You can also use books to find primary sources, which are often published together in collections.

Where Do I Find Books?

You'll use the library catalog to search for books, ebooks, articles, and more.

What if MJC Doesn't Have What I Need?
Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 emergency, we are unable to process requests for materials from other libraries. We'll have this service up and running again as soon as campus opens and we're fully operational.

If you need materials (books, articles, recordings, videos, etc.) that you cannot find in the library catalog, use our interlibrary loan service.

Find Articles in Library Databases

All of these resources are free for MJC students, faculty, & staff.

If you're working from off campus, you'll need to sign in. Once you click on the name of a database, simply enter your student ID (without the W) and your six-digit birth date.

For the best results in the Gale and EBSCO databases, use additional search terms (such as "body image media," or "body image nutrition").

Find Web Resources

Use Google Scholar to find scholarly literature on the Web:

Google Scholar Search

Browse Featured Web Sites:

Cite Your Sources

Your instructor should tell you which citation style he or she wants you to use. Click on the appropriate link below to learn how to format your paper and cite your sources according to a particular style.