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MCOM 186: Research Methods in Mass Media: Home

Background Knowledge

When you begin a research project, it is a good idea to take a moment to reflect on your prior knowledge of the topic area. How much do you already know about this topic? How confident are you in moving forward with this topic? In most cases, you will need to do a bit of research to get some general information on your topic. 

A great way to gather background information is through searching reference materials. Reference materials such as Encyclopedias and Dictionaries are arranged alphabetically and contain a general overview of a term or subject matter. 

The library has access to encyclopedias and dictionaries in print and online through particular databases. 

Online Encyclopedic Databases:

Finding Articles

Electronic articles can be searched through our databases. There are some general databases and some subject specific databases. To access the databases, click on the database tab on the library homepage. You can then browse through them alphabetically, or browse by discipline (i.e., history, anthropology, etc.). 

Below you will find a list of databases that will be helpful for communications classes. It is important to remember that it is also helpful to choose databases based on your subject matter. 

Citation

It is important to include appropriate citation in your paper. The library has a guide that can help you accurately cite your resources. You can locate it on the library homepage by clicking the "Citing Sources" link, or you can click on the link below. Remember, for this class you will be using the Chicago style.

Pick A Topic

If you are stuck trying to decide on a topic for your paper, there are a few ways to generate ideas. 

  1. Scan newspaper headlines 
  2. Browse chapter titles in your textbook
  3. Check out what's trending 
  4. Use a Topic Idea Generator
  5. Use the "Browse Issues" section in the Opposing Viewpoints Database

Locating Print Sources at Milne Library

One way to locate print resources is through the Milne Library Catalog. To access the library catalog, click on the “library catalog” tab on the library’s homepage. You will then use the Call Number to locate the item in the library. If you need help finding the item, please do not hesitate to ask.  

The second way is through Worldcat. To access Worldcat, click on the Worldcat tab on the library homepage. Once you have entered your search terms, you can limit your results using the tools located on the left hand side of your results list. If you would like a book that Milne library doesn’t own, you will request it through ILLiad.

***You can also check out items at Hartwick College with your SUNY Oneonta ID card.**

Interlibrary Loan

The ILLiad system enables current SUNY Oneonta students, faculty, and staff to obtain academic and intellectual materials from other libraries. Your ILLiad account will allow you to:

  • -- borrow items from other libraries
  • -- make online requests for periodical articles from other libraries
  • -- review the status of your requests
  • -- check due dates of outstanding loans
  • -- ask for renewals
  • -- and much more.

Help

Librarians are available to help in several ways: 

  • Visit the Research Help Desk in Milne Library
  • Call the Research Help Desk at 607-436-2722
  • E-mail a question to a librarian and receive a response within 48 hours
  • Request a Research Consultation to meet individually with a librarian