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COMM 1018 - RESEARCH & RESOURCES Megan Lowe, Coordinator of Public Services.

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1 COMM 1018 - RESEARCH & RESOURCES Megan Lowe, Coordinator of Public Services

2 Where to Begin? At the Beginning! Let’s say you need some research resources for a class you’re taking, like this one – “Interpersonal Communication.” You know you need a few articles, but you aren’t sure where to start. Your impulse would be to start with Google or Bing, but instead, first consider what you need to find: quality, credible articles on some aspect of interpersonal communication

3 Narrowing What You Need  “Interpersonal communication” is a very, very broad topic, and trying to research a very, very broad topic is very, very difficult.  You need to narrow the topic down to something more specific – you can narrow the topic by asking yourself questions about the topic, such as…

4 Need to Narrow? Ask These…  What do I find interesting about the topic?  What might I find useful to learn?  What personal experiences have I had that relate to some aspect of the topic?  What misconceptions do people have about the topic that I’d like to clarify?  What myths exist about the topic that I’d like to dispel?  What would I like to learn more about with regard to this topic?

5 Some narrower concepts: PICK ONE  couple conflict  dating expectations  expectations  interpersonal attraction  physical  personality  both  the workplace  the classroom  attractive body odors  self-disclosure, between  parents  siblings  friends  doctors  the impact of cohabitation  conversation styles

6 NEXT STEP: *NOT* Searching YET  That’s right – we’re not searching yet. Hold your horses! There’s something you need to know.  Know how most professors (and librarians) cringe when you use Google and Bing and rely too heavily on websites for your research?  The reason for this is that the Internet is NOT moderated or quality-controlled, and there’s a lot of GARBAGE and RUMOR and outright MISINFORMATION floating around.

7 *NOT* Searching YET  You don’t want to write a paper or conduct research with GARBAGE, RUMOR, or MISINFORMATION, do you? OF COURSE NOT!  You wouldn’t feed a baby GARBAGE, would you? OF COURSE NOT!  You would feed a baby healthy, safe, clean food, right? RIGHT!  Think of your research like a baby – you want to fill it with healthy, safe, clean things!

8 *NOT* Searching YET  “healthy, safe, clean things” = scholarly, peer- reviewed, research-oriented resources  There ARE scholarly, peer-reviewed, research- oriented resources on the Internet – but it usually takes extra effort and time to find them  However, starting with the Library’s resources means that you’re heading straight for those resources right out of the gate – the Library is CHOCK-FULL of scholarly, peer-reviewed resources!

9 So…what are scholarly resources?  Written by experts  Focuses on a particular field, topic, or discipline  Intended for others in that field or career  “Proper” language, technical vocabulary  No ads  RESEARCH ORIENTED * Journals are scholarly

10 POPULAR resources are the opposite  Written by journalists  Usually covers broad topics, fields, issues, or disciplines  Usually appeals to a wide audience  Everyday language, slang, even profanity  LOTS of ads  NOT RESEARCH ORIENTED * Magazines and newspapers are popular

11 Just a few tips before we search…  Keyword searching is how you’re going to be conducting most of your searching. Keyword searching is the combination of key words (get it?) with operators (AND, OR, and NOT) to produce search strings  Those narrower concepts we looked at earlier are actually keywords  When using phrases – like couple conflict – you need to put the phrase in quotation marks: “couple conflict”

12 Search string: examples  “interpersonal communication” and conflict  “couple conflict” and “interpersonal communication”  couple and conflict and communication  “interpersonal communication” and couple OR partners  couple and conflict NOT divorce * Use AND not + or &. Pay attention to number (singular vs. plural) and spelling.

13 A few more tips…  DO create a list of keywords  DO underline/highlight/bookmark  DO take notes/sticky notes  DO get organized  DON’T multitask  DON’T procrastinate  DON’T plagiarize

14 LET’S DO THIS We know we need scholarly resources on interpersonal communication, specifically the topic couple conflict. We know the keywords and search strings we can use. We have the skills we need to get started. So we start with the Library’s website

15 After the Searching’s Done…  You have the resources you need, either digitally or physically, if you’ve printed them out  This is when underlining/highlighting comes into play, as well as notes and sticky notes  Documentation is also important, in order to avoid plagiarism – several of our databases (like Ebscohost) will generate citations for you

16 Need a Hand?  If you need help with the research process – at ANY point in the research process – you can ask the librarians for assistance – that’s what we do!  We also check documentation (quotations and citations) for accuracy.  If you’d like someone to check your writing (grammar, spelling, and syntax), you can go to the Write Place on the 1 st floor of the Library.

17 RECAP  When doing research, make sure you have a manageable (narrow) topic.  Create a list of keywords and search strings.  Bear in mind that you need scholarly resources, which can be found in the Library.  Search the Library’s resources using the keywords and search strings, bearing in mind the tips we discussed.  Make sure you document your resources!

18 RECAP  Select databases based on your research needs – for a class like this, communication databases work well, but so do psychology databases (think outside the box)!  Use parameters like “scholarly/peer-reviewed” and “full text” – and even publication date – to make the results lists more manageable  Some databases will create citations FOR you – take advantage of that for accurate citations!

19 RECAP  The librarians can help you with research, from start to finish!  The librarians can also help you with citations and documentation.  The Write Place can help you with writing – they can check spelling, grammar, and syntax.  All of these services can be found on the 1 st floor of the Library (that’s also where you check out books, study rooms, and make copies).

20 RECAP: Library Databases Covered  EDS – comprehensive search of electronic resources  Ebscohost  Academic Search Complete  Communication and Mass Media Complete  Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection  JSTOR

21 Question & Answer Time!

22 Remember, if you need research help, all you have to do is ask the librarians. You can…  Visit the Reference Desk, Library 1 st floor  Email us at  Call us at (318) 342-1071 Thanks for your cooperation!

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