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COMM111 - Prof. Queeney: Home

A resource for completing your final research paper and all the step assignments along the way.


Welcome COMM111 online students! This guide was created just for you to help you complete your final research paper. You can use the resources below to get your paper done. Remember, if you have more questions, ask your librarian (I'm in Canvas or use the email on this page).

From the assignment

Some things to keep in mind as you use this guide (taken directly from your assignment):

"Objective: All students must write a research paper that covers a topic within the subject of media and society."

Questions you may discuss: "Who do you think are the target audience of the contents and why? 
What techniques are used in the media contents to persuade the audience? 
What are the major economic forces behind the production of media contents? 
What forces shape the contents of the media? 
What topics/groups/individuals are covered and what are ignored? 
Why do you think particular topics/groups/individuals are covered? 
How are they covered? 
How do the media frame public discussion of an issue (e.g., repeating stories, using specific persons for quotes)?"

What research you need: "Direct citation of at least seven (7) sources
Citations must be taken from academic journals
Additional sources may also be utilized"


The database below is specifically mentioned in your assignment and is a great resource. Please also note some of the links at the bottom of the assignment page that might have other useful information. How do you choose the right article the most efficiently? You want to answer the question: Is this worth following up on? My advice on how to do that is below. Searching (entering some words and hitting the button) is easy, but finding what you need in a large results list is the tough part.

The use and benefits of CRAAP

Searching is easy! 

Students can throw some words into a search box and hit the button. That's something everyone has done. It's finding the GOOD stuff that's tricky.

The first steps of evaluation (in Google, Library catalog, Wikipedia, databases):

  1. Scan the title for clues
  2. Click into the title for more details
  3. Read the whole thing! (You've determined it's worth your time)

The first clues are the same. Once you search you have:

  • The title: always the first clue. Is it on the right topic? Does it seem like it might be helpful? If so, add it to the shortlist to investigate further.
  • Once you have shortlisted a link, click into the title to find more clues (find a: summary/abstract, blurb, subjects).
  • If the information still looks promising: read it and use it!

Part 2: Selection

Okay, we have some search results.  Which of these is best for our particular paper?  Our full range of clues are:

1)   Keyword in title? – This is a good sign that the article is RELEVANT.

2)   Read the abstract!! – There is no better clue to whether we want to use this in our paper than this SUMMARY. It should tell you want was studied, how and possibly why. (concerns PURPOSE and RELEVANCE)

3)   Long enough? – A scholarly article should be longer than 1 or 2 pages; watch out for editorials or sidebars. (speaks to RELEVANCE)

4)   Reliable source? – Is the author affiliated with a university? Is the publication a scholarly journal or a magazine? (that’s AUTHORITY and ACCURACY)

5)   Don’t take that tone with me! – Is the tone of the article biased or unbiased? Is it intended to inform or persuade? (this is PURPOSE)

6)    When was it written/published? – Think about it like this: do you want your doctor treating you with information from an article published in the 1960s? Not if you want to live. So pay attention to WHEN the information comes from; knowledge changes over time. (CURRENCY)

Online Learning Librarian

Paul Proces's picture
Paul Proces
Office: Library 218