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SE 1341 - Fundamentals of Oral Communication: Articles

Resources to assist students in researching and preparing speeches.

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Journals List

Looking for a specific journal, magazine, or newspaper?

Use Journals List to search for the title of a journal, magazines, or newspaper and tell if the library offers online access or print access to that publication.

Search: Journals List

Database Search Tips

  • Consider what type of information you need and where you might find it.
  • Break your topic into key concepts and identify terms for each concept. Start with fewer words. Less yields more.
  • Don't be too narrow in your search, especially initially.
  • Use Boolean connectors like andorand not to connect keywords. Many databases search the words as a phrase otherwise.
  • In general, avoid using prepositions like "in," "of," and "on."
  • Truncation characters such as an * (asterisk) can expand your search by retrieving various forms of a word, e.g., comput* retrieves computer, computers, computing, computation, etc.
  • Look at the subject terms or descriptors that are used for articles that appear relevant. Try other searches using those terms.
  • Consult a librarian or your faculty member for additional related terms.
  • Think about which individuals or groups of people or organizations are associated with your topic. These might be additional terms to search.

Evaluate Article Relevance & Quality

  • Look at subject terms applied to relevant articles. Did you find additional articles by searching these subject headings?
  • Which terms or search strategies yielded the best results?
  • Look at the abstract. Are there additional keyword terms you might search?
  • How long is the article?
  • In which journal or periodical was this article published? What is the journal's or magazine's reputation? How do you know?
  • When was the article published? What time period does the research or article cover?
  • Who is the author of the article? What are the author's credentials? What qualifies the author as an expert?
  • What sources are cited in this article?
  • How will this source advance the research project?
  • See Evaluate Information for more criteria.

In Class Exercise

  1. Open an email message. What is your proposed topic?
  2. Search for an article about your topic by searching in the Meta Search Box to the left, while the "Articles" tab is highlighted in gold. Limit your search to "Full Text" articles.
  3. What did you type for your search?
  4. Select an informative article that will provide additional information on your topic. Browse through the article to get an idea what the article is about. Try to find an article that contains information you didn't previously know.
  5. Copy or type the MLA citation information into the email message. You may need to edit this information. Be sure to include the database from which your article is located.
  6. In a sentence or two, what did you learn from this article that you didn't previously know? Try to write this in your own words.
  7. In a sentence or two, describe the currency, reliability, authority, accuracy, and purpose of the article and why you would or would not use this article as a source for your paper or presentation.
  8. Type SE 1341, your course section and your name in the subject line of the email message.
  9. Email this information to dduesterhoeft@stmarytx.edu 

In Class Exercise Rubric