Welcome COMM110 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).
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):
The first clues are the same. Once you search you have:
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)