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MCOM 186: Research Methods in Mass Media

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.