Make a research appointment with Kim, Communication Studies librarian at email@example.com.
When you are ready to start researching your senior project, consider making an appointment with me. We can talk about your research questions, best ways of finding the information you need, and more. Appointments usually take between 1/2 hour and 45 minutes.
In order to arrange an appointment, I'll need to know the following things:
Your research topic + research questions you need to find answers for
Where you've searched so far for information + the keywords you've used
A list of sources you've found so far
Get an overview of a topic
Before you commit yourself to a topic, think about getting an overview or background information to help you make the best decision.
Think of the suggestions below as reference books. Look and see whether there is a list of sources for further reading or a bibliography. A good reference list can get you off to a great start with researching.
If you want to find additional background resources, try this search in the catalog at lib.umn.edu:
encyclopedia AND one word topic
Example search: encyclopedia AND women
- Encyclopedia of Communication Theory byISBN: 9781405186407Publication Date: 2009
- International Encyclopedia of Communication byISBN: 9781405186407Publication Date: 2008
- CQ ResearcherCQ Researcher provides in-depth coverage of important issues of the day. Reports are written by experienced journalists, footnoted, and professionally fact-checked. Full-length articles include an overview, historical background, chronology, pro/con feature, plus resources for additional research. Shorter "Hot Topics" articles provide a solid introduction to subjects in demand.
- Sage KnowledgeSearches all library subscriptions from Sage Publishing including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.
Consider making a mind map or an outline.
An outline [or for non-linear thinkers, a mind map] is an incredible tool to help you write a paper--and research one.
It can help you to:
- Generate search terms
- Reveal knowledge gaps
- Ease transitions between sections of your paper
- Help with editing/drafting process
While you can certainly use the pencil and paper method, consider using the free online mind mapping tool MindMup or an outline tool, like Workflowy.
Scholarly Journal Articles
Searching for articles can be challenging. To make it a bit easier, think about this:
Where to search || What to search
- It's quite tempting to start researching without a plan in place, but it's less time-consuming, and more rewarding, to do a bit of pre-search before you research.
- Consider your research topic, then break it up into search keywords. Separate terms with the word and.
- Do you need scholarly articles? Editorials or opinion pieces? Magazine articles? Choose the search tool you need based on what you want to find. For example, Lexis Nexis is a great full-text database, but it doesn't cover scholarly journals. JSTOR, while it does cover scholarly journals, has a time lag of about a year or two, so you will not be able to find the most recently published articles there.
- Academic Search PremierA great place to start your research on any topic, search multidisciplinary, scholarly research articles. This database provides access to scholarly and peer reviewed journals, popular magazines and other resources. View this tutorial to learn how to go from a general idea to a very precise set of results of journal articles and scholarly materials.
- Business Source PremierFind business articles from journals and magazines in marketing, management, information technology, operations, human resources, accounting, finance and economics dating back to 1965.
- Communication and Mass Media CompleteSearch for journal articles on topics such as communication, mass media, film, television, marketing, business communication, health communication, and more.
- Film and Television Literature Index with Full-TextSearch articles on film and television studies' topics including theory, preservation, restoration, writing, production, cinematography, reviews from "Variety" back to 1914 and more.
- Google Scholar (Setup connection to get to PDFs)Use Google Scholar to find articles from academic publishers, professional societies, research institutes, and scholarly repositories from colleges and universities. If you are using from off-campus access, change the "Library Settings" to University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Look for the "FindIt@U of M Twin Cities" links in your Google Scholar search results to access full text and PDFs. View this tutorial to learn how to go from a general idea to a very precise set of results of journal articles and scholarly materials.
- APA PsycInfoFind articles in thousands of psychology journals, from 1806 to current. View this tutorial to learn how to go from a general idea to a very precise set of results of journal articles and scholarly materials.
- Sociological AbstractsThis core database for the field of sociology contains information on sociology and social policy worldwide. Sociological Abstracts includes citations from the 1952-present. It provides abstracting and indexing of articles and book reviews drawn from thousands of journal publications, plus books, book chapters, dissertations, conference papers, and working papers.
Popular Magazine and Newspaper Articles
- Ethnic NewsWatchEthnic NewsWatch is a current resource of full-text newspapers, magazines, and journals of the ethnic and minority press from 1990, providing researchers access to essential, often overlooked perspectives.
- MasterFile CompleteSearch magazines, with a small number of journals and newspapers, covering a broad range of disciplines and topics. Includes photos and multimedia.
Helpful things to know
- Assignment CalculatorEnter in the due date for your research project (paper, speech, lab report) and get a suggested time-line for completing with links to the resources to help you succeed in each step.
- Chat 24/7 online with the LibrariesAsk us anything! Chat with a librarian, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with any research or library questions.
- Citation Managers (e.g. Zotero, EndNote Online, etc.)Citation managers are software packages used to create personalized databases of citation information and notes. They allow you to: import and organize citation information from article indexes and other sources; save links to pdfs and other documents; format citations for your papers and bibliographies using APA and many other styles; and include your own notes.
- Center for WritingThey take walk-ins, and both in-person and online appointments. Also find online quick help and resources for writers on the writing process, common assignments, grammar, punctuation, style and more. Put the polishing touches on your work.
- Study SpacesMake group work easier by reserving a library study space.
- Library workshopsLearn something new at a library workshop! Register for everything from using citation managers to finding grant funding.
- Peer Research ConsultantsMake an online 30 minute appointment for one-on-one peer assistance with your research. Get help with researching your topic, finding sources, citing sources and more. Peer Research Consultants can also help you get started with faculty-sponsored research.
Use these tools and services to learn how to incorporate outside researchers' thoughts/concepts/words/phrases into your own work.
In-text Citations: APAThe structure (Last Name, Year) or Last Name (Year) tells your reader the origin of the surrounding information-- who wrote it and when it was published.
In-text Citations: MLAThe structure (Last Name, Page Number) or (Page Number) tells your reader the origin of the surrounding information-- who wrote it and which page the information can be found.
Plagiarism...and How to Avoid ItSlide deck illustrates what is and what isn't plagiarism.
Quoting and ParaphrasingTips on how to improve your paraphrasing.
Signal PhrasesThese terms alert readers that the next few words are not the author's own.
Student Writing SupportFree to students. Make online on in-person appointments to improve your writing skills.