Background Information

As you begin working with your topic and visiting your site, it may help to read through some background information. Online encyclopedias are easy to access and provide brief, succint articles. They provide an introduction to the topic and also help familiarize you with the syntax of the field.

Expand the titles to view sample entries.

 Online Encyclopedias

  Encyclopedia of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations

  Encyclopedia of Communication Theory

  Encyclopedia of Communication and Information

  Handbook of Crisis Communication

Finding Books

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 "Communication in Organizations" 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.

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.

Finding Articles

Articles from scholarly and trade journals are a reliable source of information. 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 more information on different types of journals (scholarly, trade, and popular), see the Tell If It's a Scholarly Journal guide. For this project, you may find that trade or popular journals have interesting anecdotal information for your projects, while scholarly journal articles will have research to support the arguments of your paper.

You can find communication articles by searching these databases:

  Communication & Mass Media Complete (EBSCO)

Example Searches

"Work Environment" AND "Communication in Organizations"

"Conflict Management"

"Communication in Organizations" AND "Email"

  Communication Abstracts (EBSCO)

  ComAbstracts (CIOS)

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.

Library Materials

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.

Interlibrary Loan

Articles and books that are not owned by the library can be easily borrowed through our interlibrary loan systemILLiad is best for requesting articles, and EZBorrow 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 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.