To help get started on your project, you may want to do a little background research. The Encyclopedia of Leadership is a great starting point. Begin by clicking the Readers Guide tab. Use these broad categories to dig deeper and read brief articles about leaders and leadership to find out which areas interest you most.
Encyclopedia of Leadership
The Encyclopedia of Leadership brings together for the first time most of what is known and what truly matters about leadership as part of the human experience. Nearly four hundred entries written by leading scholars and experts from seventeen countries explore leadership theories, leadership practice, and the effects of leadership in the real world. Recognizing that leadership is a process and not a person, much of the encyclopedia examines leadership in its rich and complex situational context. We also recognize that the leadership story is often revealed through individuals. About a third of the work—some 150 entries—is devoted to biographical essays focused on leaders (and their followers) and on case studies of leadership events and moments. These entries and another three hundred sidebars of primary text show leadership in action in corporations and state houses, schools, churches, small businesses, neighborhoods, and nonprofit organizations.
Once you have identified a leader for your project, you may want to read up on leadership issues in that area. Books are a good source for general information because they tend to take a broad view of the topic at hand. Scholarly journal articles are narrowly focused on one area of a topic.
For example, begin with this search of LEADERSHIP in the Library Catalog. Add your own search terms or click the links on the right to narrow the search to better fit your topic.
You can also begin exploring different aspects of leadership with the library's ample collection of books. For example, psychological aspects, religious aspects, or moral and ethical aspects. You may also be interested in leadership during organizational change, or African American leadership.
Also see this list of books geared toward student leaders.
If you find a promising book, review the table of contents and index to determine its relevance to your own research. Then begin by reading the chapters you think will be most valuable.
Scholarly Journal Articles
A scholarly journal article is a reliable source of information, written by experts in the filed and published by reputable journals. They normally focus on a single narrow topic. Use journal articles to back up claims and arguments you make in your own paper. Find articles by searching relevant article databases.
For articles related to theories of leadership and communication in leadership, search communication-specific databases.
Search using keywords that describe your topic. Once you have found a relevant article, pay attention to the subject terms that are used to describe it. Use those subject terms to improve your searches. Sample article:
"'Getting people on board': Discursive leadership for consensus building in team meetings"
Key Communication Databases
Communication & Mass Media Complete (EBSCO) Communication Abstracts (EBSCO)
CMMC offers cover-to-cover indexing and abstracts for more than 570 journals, and selected coverage of nearly 200 more, for a combined coverage of more than 770 titles; furthermore, this database includes full text for over 450 journals. CMMC incorporates the content of CommSearch (formerly produced by the National Communication Association) and Mass Media Articles Index (formerly produced by Penn State) along with numerous other journals in communication, mass media, and other closely-related fields of study.
Abstracts articles from journals, conference proceedings and hard-to-find documents. Includes scientific research and government policies. Distinct from ComAbstracts and ComIndex, Communication Abstracts is produced at Temple University and provides abstracting coverage of books and journals in all areas of communication studies (mass, interpersonal and new communication technologies).
The ComAbstracts database contains abstracts of articles published in the primary professional literature of the communication(s) field. Complemented by ComIndex.
If your leader works in a specific area, such as politics or education, you may also want to search databases specific to that area. Here is a sample of useful databases from other disciplines.
Article Databases in Other Subject Areas
Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (ProQuest)
Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (WPSA) provides abstracts and indexing of the international literature of political science and international relations, along with complementary fields, including international law and public administration/policy. The database provides abstracts of journal articles and citations to book reviews drawn from over 1,500+ serials publications and also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, dissertations and working papers. The database is simultaneously searchable with other ProQuest databases such as ProQuest Newspapers. ERIC (EBSCO)
The ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) database is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to provide extensive access to educational-related literature. It indexes both journal articles and reports from government and private agencies. Social Services Abstracts (ProQuest)
ProQuest Social Services Abstracts provides bibliographic coverage of current research focused on social work, human services, and related areas, including social welfare, social policy, and community development. The database abstracts and indexes over 1,600 serials publications and includes abstracts of journal articles and dissertations, and citations to book reviews. Business Source Premier (EBSCO)
Business Source Premier is a full-text, scholarly and trade article database covering a wide range of topics including management, marketing, accounting, finance, economics, international business, operations management and management information systems.
Citation Chasing - Build on Your Research
Database searching is not the only way to find great scholarly articles for your research project. Once you have found useful articles, pay attention to the sources those authors use to build their own research. It is likely that the sources that were important to those authors will also be important to your research. All scholarly research should include a thorough bibliography or reference list at the end of the article.
There are many ways to find out if Falvey has the full text of an article when you have the article citation. Check out the Finding Full Text guide for more information.
To search Falvey’s book collection, go to the Search Tab. Use the drop-down menu to search by the title or author of the book you are looking for.
Articles and books that are not owned by the library can be easily borrowed through our interlibrary loan system. ILLiad is best for requesting articles, and E-Z Borrow is the preferred method for requesting books that are available in that system.
Citing Your Sources in APA Style
Even though you have been using APA style for the past 4 years, you may be full of dread at the thought of writing your reference list. The library is here to help!
Whether writing your reference list by hand or proofreading a Refworks bibliography, you will definitely need to have the APA rules on hand. Check out the resources below:
- If you find the Publication Manual confusing or scary (or both), try the APA Online Tutorial. This video guide is clear and easy to watch. It gives a thorough overview of how to format your paper and cite your sources.
- For those trickier scenarios (how do I cite my class notes? how do I cite a blog post?), try searching the APA Style Blog. This is another official APA site, so it is an authoritative source.
Wondering how to cite your interviews and other communication with your leader? This type of research would be considered "personal communications" in APA Style. For more information, please see the APA Style for Citing Interviews. You may want to talk with your professor about how to handle these references in your paper.