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COMM 4395: Communication Capstone Seminar

This guide will connect you resources, strategies, and tools that will help you complete your Communication Capstone project.

Communication Databases

Below you'll find the most frequently used research databases in Communication. If your topic is multidisciplinary, however, you may need to search other databases, too. The library's databases are organized by subject, but ask me if you're not sure where to search.

How to Create Narrow and Specific Searches

So you're overwhelmed by search results. No problem! Use subject headings to create controlled and specific search queries.

Subject headings are maintained by the Library of Congress and constitute a controlled vocabulary or thesaurus that help readers find materials according to their subjects, i.e. what they're about. Use subject headings to create a relatively narrow population of search results according to the major subject of your study then cross-reference that body of results with additional keywords related to your topic. 

For example, I used LC's subject heading search to learn that the keyword is not 'anime' but 'Animated films -- Japan.' Now I can use this subject heading in OneSearch or in other library databases to locate all records where 'Animated films -- Japan' occurs within an item record. 

Caveat searcher! Anytime you construct a query like this you're intentionally filtering out results that may be relevant. In general it's best to begin with broad, keyword-based searches, then move to subject-led searches when you have a clear and well-defined idea of the resources you need. For example, the search pictured above returns two results; swapping out 'Animated films--Japan' for 'anime' returns 21 results. Research is a process of moving between broad and narrow levels of inquiry.