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Communication Studies Class Guide: Start Here

Why Use Scholarly Sources?

You will often be asked to search for academic or scholarly articles and journals. What does that mean? How are they different from other articles and journals? 

Search WorldCat for books (including ebooks) and more...

WorldCat is a huge catalog that searches thousands of libraries worldwide.  It is a great place to search for books and more. If you find  something that is not in our collection, you may request the item (s) from GET IT!.

Keywords, Operators & Filters

  • BRAINSTORM  keywords   --  main ideas of your research question.
  • EXPAND  your keywords  -- look at the subject headings of the materials you find.
  • USE boolean operators --  insert AND, OR and NOT into your search.
  • REFINE your search results  -- narrow a search by year, by content type, academic journal.

Literature Review

" A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers." -- Taylor. D.  Your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic.

Selected Communication Journals

To find out what issues of a journal are held by the library, search in "Online Journals List" and type in the journal title name.  We are happy to help you locate journal information if you are having difficulty.  Next select "Research."

Citations and Citing

The sources of the information you use must be acknowledged 

( i.e. cited or referenced):

  • within the body of your paper (in-text or footnotes), and 
  • in a list as the end of your paper

Primary Communication Studies Database

Communication researchers rely heavily on scholarly peer-reviewed journal articles. Because of this, these databases are great starting points.

Useful Place to Search Multiple Topics

  • Academic Search Complete.  A multi-disciplinary database of full text access to journals, magazines, and newspapers, as well as full-text peer-reviewed journals.
  • Jstor is a digital library of journals, academic ebooks, and primary journals.  The collections include top peer-reviewed journals.
  • WorldCat. All in one search. Search across most of the library's resources from a single search box on the library's homepage. The catalog also searches across thousands of other libraries worldwide.

Other Key Subject-Specific  Databases (other disciplines you could be working in).

  • GenderWatch.  Find articles focused on the impact of gender across a broad spectrum of subject areas.
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context.  Current social issues presented in topic pages with a variety of data on differing points of view.
  • SocioIndex with full text.  Contains some full-text articles on all aspects of sociology.
  • Political Science Complete. Contains listings of articles focused on political science and its complementary fields, including international relations, law, and public administration / policy.
  • PsycINFO. Contains some full-text articles on all aspects of psychology and behavior.

You can find the above databases under Databases by Subject