Communication: Home

Newspapers and Rhetoric Research

Since we have about a zillion incidences of people saying things over the past 100 years or so in hundreds of newspapers around the country -there's neat research that you can do to analyze rhetoric in different contexts.  This is a very green beginner's guide to newspapers research at an academic library.  It is worth mentioning: newspapers are written so audiences from many different education levels, experiences and contexts can read and understand an issue (ideally) -so avoid high-level jargon like 'rhetoric' and focus on more general keywords (suggestions below).

Image is from: ​ Draper, George. "City hall murders: Moscone, Milk slain --Dan White is held." San Francisco Chronicle, November 28, 1978, 1.

Explanatory Video  

Library Catalog 
If you want to find a specific newspaper title (and search it afterwards) -look in the library catalog -all of the resources below are indexed here, but you'll have to click through a few links to get to the search interface -great resource for finding titles.

Databases > Research Databases (tab) > P > ProQuest Newsstand (most of the english language papers in the U.S.) > Research Databases (tab) > P > Nexis UNI  (most of the english language papers in the U.S.) > Research Databases (tab) > P > Access World News (World papers (typically english feeds)) > Research Databases (tab) > Newspapers Databases Index

HISTORIC > Research Databases (tab) > P > New York Times Historic (complete run of the paper) > Research Databases (tab) > P > Wall Street Journal Historic  (complete run of the paper) > Research Databases (tab) > P > Los Angeles Times Archive  (complete run of the paper) > Research Databases (tab) > P > Shen Bao (complete run of the paper) > Research Databases (tab) > P > San Francisco Chronicle Archive (complete run of the paper)
Utah Digital Newspapers  (an older collection of regional newspapers -very local)

Open Web

Every newspaper has an open web presence, but their own hosting of archives is spotty -if you want access to a particular paper that you can't find, ask me and I'll help you :-)  -dale

Rhetoric and discourse are lovely terminology -but the general nature of newspapers might substitute them for (try these):
reason (reasoning)
belief (beliefs, believed, etc.)
meaning (meaningful)
how to do several of these together in a search?: (the following is an example search)
"black lives matter" AND (value* OR context OR rationale OR explanation)

Long Form Journalism

Grand Prix Rider Winking with Italian ConfidenceFINDING AND USING LONG-FORM JOURNALISM
In the day-to-day media that we consume, we're often looking just for the facts and a little context.  Say, for example, how is Ducati doing this weekend at Misano doesn't need to be answered with a history of the track, Italian motorcycling culture and the grand prix rider's psychology & early-life story.  That would get annoying really quickly if we were bombarded in every circumstance with too much information.  But if we want to know why people are interested in a topic, we don't always want to read the book on the topic either.  Long-form journalism is a handy and (usually) fun to read middle-ground.  What follows is a starting point on both the 'open web' and in resources the library subscribes to: Image credit: ​Sancho, Fernando. "GP San Marino MotoGP 2017 –Petrucci Domina un FP2 con Caída de Márquez."

Library Resources (see video for a good starting point)
Databases > Research Databases (tab) > A > Academic Search Premier > Research Databases (tab) > N > New York Times Historical Newspaper > Research Databases (tab) > P > ProQuest Newsstand

Library Catalog (USearch) recommended keywords
"long-form journalism"
"magazine writing"
see also the "Best American Magazine Writing" books -(these get checked out a lot so ask for help if you want to recall one -d)

Open Web
Just about everyone is on board with the long-form style these days so you can glean your favorite resources.  Some good starting points are the New York Times, The Atlantic, and

News Transcripts

When politicians talk about the media these days -the old stalwarts of television, CNN & FOX, to name a couple- are usually an implied target.  But you can't just sit and watch news all day, how can we comb through what's been said on the news?  Transcripts!  Due to the 24 hour news cycle, it is impossible to transcribe and then provide everything, so search with the idea that these are the higher priority news stories from major media outlets (see my demo vid, below).

Image is a screencap from: ​"CNNgo Live Stream." Video file. CNN Go. Posted October 20, 2017. Accessed October 20, 2017.


Databases > Research Databases (tab) > W > Nexis UNI  (good, in general) > Research Databases (tab) > H > Factiva (business point of view, but still generalized somewhat)

Books!? Are those still a thing?

ENGAGING WITH BOOKS (both physical and electronic)
First thing to remember is that books are a communication device and can help organize your ideas in a quicker fashion than doing any other type of review.  Finding them and using them can be frustrating, though -so watch my video on tips (the first part of the video is our catalog -and the second part is alternate disovery tools -all listed below)

Image is the cover from: ​Bishop, Edward. Riding with Rilke: Reflections on Motorcycles and Books. New
     York: W W Norton, 2007.

Explanatory Video (painfully long until you realize it has two parts: The University of Utah Library Catalog (part 1) -then all the other options for discovering/using books and data (part 2).
Quote of the vid: "There are so much stuff going on with books" -I refuse to edit this gem out in hopes someone calls me on it ;-)

Library Catalog 
There's a lot to discover and frame your work -you can see edited works that lay out topics similar to yours, or you might even find the perfect source that says it all.  Don't stop at one, but examine the points of view of several and you'll understand your topic and make faster progress.

Databases > Research Databases (tab) > W > WorldCat  (all the books!!) > Research Databases (tab) > H > Hathi Trust (full text historic, please!)

Open Web
Google Books
Google NGrams

​Also, just to help track anything down locally:
Salt Lake City Library
Salt Lake County Library

Citations, Yea!

Who loves citation style!?  The more obscure the rules, the better! Am I right!? Ew! Certainly not!  The problem, then, is how to find a citation manager that does the job with few errors -and is quick and efficient.  I'll introduce you to a couple (videos below) that the library subscribes to (free to you), but there are resources to a couple of other open-web managers as well.

Image (cited in NoodleTools) from: ​Larsen, Dale. "Saying woo hoo in the hall on a Friday." Address, The J. Willard Marriott Library, Salt Lake City, UT, November 3, 2017.

Databases > Research Databases (tab) > E > EndNote Basic
NOTE: full version of EndNote can be found here: > Research Databases (tab) > N > NoodleTools 

Library Guides -very detailed and informative!
EndNote Basic and Full/Desktop


Communication Research Assistance

I surveyed a cross-section of library subject guides from throughout the academic institutions of the United States to determine the most recommended library databases for Communication articles.  From a sample size of 22 academic libraries, here are your results -and I agree that this list is a great place to start! -dale

Note: This color means "Librarian's Favorite!"

Database Name General Topic % Recommended
Communication & Mass Media Complete Communication 86
Academic Search Premier Everything Under the Sun (some Scholarly) 77
LexisNexis Academic Newspapers 54
JSTOR Scholarly Articles (Everything...) 50
Comm Abstracts (+CommIndex) Communication 40
PsychInfo Psychology 40
Business Source Premier Business 31
Film & Television Literature Index Mass Media 22
New York Times Historical Newspaper -goes back to the Civil War Era 22
ProQuest Newsstand Newspapers -from mid-1990s to today 22
Web of Knowledge Scholarly Articles (Everything...) + other features* 22
WorldCat Books Catalog for Academic Libraries in U.S.* 22
CQ Researcher News and Politics 18
MLA Bibliography Literature, Humanities and More 18
Social Sciences Citation Index Social Sciences NOTE: must be at Marriott Library to use 18
Sociological Abstracts Social Sciences 18
PAIS International Political Science 13

*There are some databases, like this one, where you may want some help to see all that it can do.  If you'd like to set up an appointment to meet with me, as folks regularly do, please just send me an e-mail here: -I'd love to help! -dale

Subject Guide

Dale Larsen's picture
Dale Larsen

I love to help with your research: from just seeing the assignment, to wrapping up with citation management -drop me a line or come by 1726C on the first floor of the Marriott Library

FALL SEMESTER OFFICE HOURS –come by and say hi!
Marriott Library Room 1726 (near cafe)
Fridays 1:30-3:30pm
except: Sept 14, Oct 12, Nov 23

Social Work Building -Lounge Area
Tuesdays from 2-4pm
except: Sept 4, Oct 2, Oct 23, Nov 6, Nov 20, & Nov 27

Catching Up With...

Very short annotated bibliographies for use by scholars with an emphasis on understanding the contexts of events in the world around us.  No bibliography can be unbiased -ask your librarian how you can continue the research on what you're interested in!

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