Communication: COMM 3710

Intro Quant Comm Rsrch, COMM 3710

Pew Research Center. (2014, March 7). Millenials:
Unmoored from institutions [Infographic]. Retrieved

How on earth did I cite this!?  look in the next
column over -->

Finding social-sciences information isn't too bad, but finding resources that produce data for you to look at in the scholarly requirements for the COMM 3710 class can be tricky.  Each database listed below has potential, but also see the tips/suggestions on the side of each for help.

Note: this is intended to accompany a librarian-taught research lab session.  If you're coming to this cold and would like more help, just contact me for an appointment -I'll even entertain a group of you- at

1. Trends and Ideas
(these are great for getting the creative juices going, but aren't necessarily considered scholarly)

CQ Researcher (What is important to U.S. voters right now)

Pew Research Center (non-partisan public data)

US Newsstream (was Proquest Newsstand) (most U.S. newspapers -including today)

2. Scholarship in the social sciences
   Sociological Abstracts (Sociology & Social Work)
   PsycINFO (Psychology)
   Education Full Text & ERIC (Education)
   Communication & Mass Media Collection (Communication)
   Communication & Mass Media Complete (Communication)
Academic Search Ultimate (A big mash of many disciplines)
Library Catalog: USearch (multi-disciplinary -highly recommended)

(impact can be measured by "sorting by times cited")

Scopus  -Amazing/Awesome database, all scholarly:
            tip 1: select "social sciences & humanities" at the search page (unchecking the others).
            tip 2: Do a search and in the results, click "cited by" as the sorting option (right-hand side).  The most cited, most influential articles will now appear at the top.

Web of Science (humanities, social sciences appear here too)

Google Scholar (fun discovery too, not always complete)

Context searching on the Web
(note: these are sometimes helpful, but be wary in using a source until you've verified its authority with your instructor!)

Just like an expert witness in a court, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that is also non-profit may perform research and self-publish it on a really great looking website.  It might be unbiased and worthwhile, but it also may be funded by a for-profit company interested in shaping public opinion.  Take care!

search in google (add your topics/keywords, no space after the colon)
policy institute:homelessness
research institute:homelessness

ALSO: Pot luck! (change out my keyword for yours!)
questionnaire:voluntary simplicity

also try:
methodology:search term
literature review:search term

Mind Mapping :-)

Dale's starter kit for engaging with complicated literature:

First Stop: Library Research:
As you find articles that you think are relevant, 
   get a small amount of citation information (title, journal, etc.)
   read the first page or so and write a sentence about what the article is saying
   find a quote that agrees with the sentence you wrote

Second Stop: Synthesis
After you have a list of articles, try to put them into a cohesive order where each article contributes to a greater narrative or point.  This can be helped greatly by a chaotic mind map where you try to tie concepts to each other into a greater whole

(Dale's sample is not the only way to do it, but it is one way that works for me :-)

Citation Help

APA Style gettin' you down?  Here's my top picks for 'Citation Management':

Zotero (great for gathering and managing citations!)
(Our resident Zotero expert is ready to help you)
This video is a good crash-course into what you need and what to expect
Dale's Video Overview! 6 minutes of your life!

NoodleTools (great for getting APA/MLA minutia correct!)
(how to use NoodleTools)

keywords to try

statistics, statistical
test, pretest, postest

case study
discourse analysis
focus group

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


Don't fear the "Find It" button!

Here's the rule: click on it and either find a link to the article in another database -or when confronted by "NO ELECTRONIC FULL-TEXT" -request the item yourself at Inter-Library Loan (ask me if you get stuck for more than 60 seconds, I can help:

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library