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Margaret's COMM101 Guide: Home

This guide has been created to support students completing assignments in Professor Shawn Queeney's COMM101 course.

How to Use This Guide

Welcome! Read the boxes on this page to learn how to approach the research for your COMM101 assignments. Then click on the "Database Tutorials" tab above to watch tutorials on some of the databases. Click on the "Library Lingo Decoder" tab above if you are unsure of library terms. Click on the button under Margaret's picture to email her a question.

What is an Annotated Bibliography and How do I Create One?

An Annotated Bibliography is simply a list of the sources you consulted, paraphrased from, or quoted in your paper, but each item also has a description. Follow your professor's instructions on this because I have seen different kinds of annotated bibliography assignments. Generally, there should be a brief summary of the article. Don't stop there, though: most instructors like to know how each article relates to the topic and how you used it in your unique paper.

Check these sites for ideas and clarification on Annotated Bibliographies:

How to do APA Citations

Citations are how you let your reader or listener know where you found information. Anything you use that is not your own idea, original thought, or not common knowledge should be cited. Usually, you'll signal to the reader that you're attributing something to another author by putting their last name in parentheses after the borrowed material. You will then include a list of complete citations at the end of the paper. These entries will show the author, source, date of publication, and other information needed for the reader to find the source to learn more.

APA is simply the style of citations you are using in this course. APA stands for American Psychological Association, but this style is used frequently in all of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Communication, and other disciplines.

At Bucks, the Academic Success Center (formerly the Tutoring Center) is the authority on citations. They've produced some great handouts on various topics in writing, and their APA handout is especially useful. Find it linked below along with the Purdue OWL's APA website. If you would like to sit down with a tutor to discuss citations (yours in particular) make an appointment at any of the three campuses. The Academic Success Centers ore found either inside or near the Library.

Welcome to your LibGuide! (START HERE)

Hi Students! I've created this research guide, or LibGuide, to assist you in writing your papers for COMM101. Specifically, you will be using the Library's Databases to find articles to write about (the Thought Papers), or articles to support your own ideas that you present in your writing (Thought Papers, Research and Analysis Papers, and the Final Paper). Find the list of available databases on the Library's website by clicking on the 'Databases' button. By using the Library's Databases, you will find a good selection of the right kind of information to use in your assignments. Scroll down to the next box for guidance on which databases to use for each assignment. Click on the "Database Tutorials" tab for tutorials on some of the databases.

You will also find help here on how to create an Annotated Bibliography and how to cite your sources in APA style. Look to the left column for this information.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. Click on the button under my photo to the right to send me an email. If you are on-campus at any of the three Bucks campuses, you can also stroll into the library and ask the librarian on duty for help.

Best wishes for a great COMM101 course and a great semester!



Which Database Should I Use?

​First, determine the name of the assignment you are working on. Then, find it in this list:

  1. For the Thought Papers, please explore  Lexis Nexis and EBSCOhostEBSCOhost is actually a collection of databases and you can select as many from the list as you think might be relevant. For Communication Theory, the EBSCOhost star database is Communication and Mass Media Complete. Make sure you check the box next to its name in the list to add it to your search strategy. You would also do well to include Academic Search Premier and Masterfile Premier in this search. Personally, I like to try my search in EBSCOhost first, collect any articles which might be helpful, and then re-use the search in Lexis-Nexis.
  2. For the Research and Analysis Paper, use EBSCOhost again, but this time select Communication and Mass Media Complete, ERIC, Education Full-Text, and Religion and Philosophy Collection. You can select all four of these databases at the same time and search simultaneously. Remember that for this assignment you are looking for scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. Watch the short video in the right column to learn how to tell the difference!) EBSCOhost databases will generally tell you what kind of journal or magazine your article came from since they include popular magazine articles and newspapers, too. Make sure that the article(s) you are interested in identify themselves as scholarly or peer-reviewed! DOAJ and JSTOR are two other databases recommended for this assignment. You can find them in the original list where you found EBSCOhost, not inside EBSCO.
  3. Those same databases will be useful for your Final Paper. You will be looking for five scholarly, peer-reviewed articles to support your ideas and include in your annotated bibliography.

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Scholarly vs. Popular Sources

Watch this short video from Vanderbilt University to learn the difference between Scholarly and Popular sources.