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Communication Studies

Learn how to search for books, articles, and other sources that can help with your informative and persuasive speech assignments.

Comm 100 Assignment

Attached is the assignment you have for Comm 101. This guide is going to give you some short videos to view. They are all very short but will give you the tools to figure how to do your research and using some great library resources for them. 

Your instructor wants you use the library resources to make the process easier.  So, here are some sources that will help. 

If you have any questions, feel free to Chat with a Librarian on the Pierce College Library home page "Help" box. 


CountryWatch, along with Gale eBooks, are great sources of background information. CountryWatch is important because it supplies reliable facts and data about countries, which isn't always easy to find online. Gale eBooks has some of that but can also supply information about cultures and customs. This will be a the starting point for the research for this assignment.

I apologize about the sound quality, I realize the background noise will be annoying but it should be clear enough. 


Choosing Keywords

Keywords are the basic concepts of the topic you're interested in. Using them makes it easier to search in most databases and search engines, like Google. 

You'll find more of them as you read more about your topic but its a good idea to have a few in mind to start.

The Video below will show you how they work. 

Finding databases

Databases are organized sources of information. Each one has its own information, so lif one isn't coming up with results that help you then try another one. Google is not a database, its a search engine and may link to a database, but doesn't always have access to them. To find library resources, go to the Pierce College Library Homepage. 

To access Pierce's databases from home, use the following:

Username= LACCD/PIerce ID number

Password= Your 4 digit birthday mmdd

Gale Ebooks

This is great source for background information. Instructors assign subjects they don't always have time to cover in class and expect students to do some of this background research. This is where to start to get some good reliable information and an undestanding of the top. These are not peer-reviewed articles; that comes later. 

The video below will show how to use Gale eBooks, a collection fo academic encyclopedias and dictionaries.

Popular vs Scholarly Sources

Newspapers, Magazines, and Journals are great sources of information. Each provides it in a different way and has different uses. The video below will explain the differences and how to best use them in research.

Journals can be pretty tough to read but there's a trick for it:

  • Read the Abstract. It will tell you what the article is about. If it doesn't help or not on your subject, then go on to another article.Otherwise, you have to read the article; theres not enough information in the abstract to use. 
  • Read the beginning of the journal article. It may be called Introduction, but it's an introduction either way. It tells you what the research in the article is going to do and what they are looking for.
  • Skip to the end and read the Discussion/Conclusion. It may have one or both of them but its the results of the conclusion, what the author thinks it means and other questions they have. 
  • If you are going to use the article you'll have to read the middle but its easier to skip around this way, and they are written this way so you can. 

Academic Search Complete

Academic Search Complete is one of the core general databases. It covers most subject pretty well and is found at most universities and colleges. It's a great source of Magazines, Newspapers, and Journals, which should be helpful in this assignment. 

Communication and Mass Media Complete is more focused on communication information. It will look the same as Academic Search Complete but is a different database with different articles. You may need to look at both to find the right sources for your assignment.