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COMM101: Oral Rhetoric

Class research guide for COMM101, curated by your liaison librarian

Liaison Librarian

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Sarah McClure Kolk
Office: HL407
(for 2023-2024 academic year)

Getting Started with Research for COMM101

Resources for Background Info

In some subject areas, there are scholarly, well-known library reference sources you could use for research, such as Oxford Art Online or the Oxford English Dictionary

To explore other scholarly library reference sources, check out the suggestions in the library's subject guide(s) related to your speech topics. 

Or you could search the library catalog for your topic, adding one of these limiting terms: encyclopedia, dictionary, reference, handbook.

Tips for finding background info on the web:

  • If you do use Wikipedia as a starting point, check the references and only use those that are credible and authoritative.
  • Look for a major (and unbiased) organization, association, or governmental website related to your topic.

Recommended Databases for Articles

In addition to using our Primo search tool on the library's homepage, you may want to focus your search on these specific databases. Each has its own advantages: 

  • Academic Search Complete has a mix of all types of articles (scholarly and popular), and even online books.
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context also has a mix of types of sources, but focuses on pro/con-type topics.
  • JSTOR includes only scholarly articles (but note that this means it may not be good for very current topics).

Resources for News and News Evaluation

Resources for Statistics

Other Resources for a Tribute Speech

Additionally, we have many encyclopedias and biographical resources in the library's print Reference Collection (4th floor), and there may be biographical sources in our regular collection too. Try searching Hekman's catalog for your person's name, look at the suggested background sources in the library's Subject Guides (choose a subject related to your topic), or ask a librarian for other recommendations!