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COMM 1101 Workshop

Use reference and general information sources to gain a working knowledge on your topic.

 Be able to converse with someone knowledgeable about the topic for at least one minute without repeating yourself.



Encyclopedia Britannica

The Encyclopedia Britannica is one of the world's foremost reference works. The online version contains more than 73,000 articles on history, the sciences, mathematics, literature, art, philosophy,etc.

Gale Virtual Reference Library (Gale)

A 24/7 virtual library of reference e-books in virtually any subject, including health, business, careers, history, literature, biography, science and many more, e.g.: Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods, Encyclopedia of Urban Studies.

Oxford Reference Online: Premium Collection

Oxford Reference Online: Premium Collection provides easily searchable, full text access to more than 100 reference titles from Oxford University Press, including A Dictionary of Sociology, A Supplementary Dictionary of Social Research Methods.



CQ Researcher (Congressional Quarterly)

Full-length articles include an overview, historical background, chronology, pro/con feature, plus resources for additional research. Graphics, photos and short "sidebar" features round out the reports. Shorter "Hot Topics" articles provide a solid introduction to subjects most in demand by students.


NewsBank consolidates current and archived information from thousands of newspaper titles, as well as newswires, web editions, blogs, videos, broadcast transcripts, business journals, periodicals, government documents and other publications. For reports and topic ideas check  Current Events, Hot Topics and Find a Topic sections.

Plan Your Search Using Keywords

You may have an idea of what you would like to search for.

Thinking about keywords can increase the number of relevant results you find.

Identify synonyms, antonyms, alternative words and spellings of keywords and concepts.

This will help you formulate a targeted search statement focused on your topic.

1. Write down what you want to know in the form of a question.

2. Formulate your topic from your research question.

3. Identify the major concepts in your topic that will become the keywords in your search statement.

                                                           Concept/Keyword 1                            Concept/Keyword 2                             Concept/Keyword 3

( _________________) and            ( ________________) and                 ( ________________) and

4. Identify the synonyms, antonyms, and alternative words and spellings of each of the keywords in #3 above:

Keyword 1                                     Keyword 2                                  Keyword 3

or _________________ )             or _________________ )             or _________________ )

or _________________ )             or _________________ )             or _________________ )

or _________________ )             or _________________ )             or _________________ )

5. Truncate words at their roots or stems in order to pick them up with all of their various endings at the same time.

6. Write out your search statement:

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