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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, but ultimately your topic will determine the resources you use. The library's databases are organized by subject; ask me if you're not sure where to search.

How to Create Narrow and Specific Searches

Overwhelmed by search results? No problem! Use subject headings to create controlled and narrow search queries.

Subject headings are maintained by the Library of Congress. They 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 narrow set of search results related to the major subject of your study, then search that body of results with additional keywords related to your topic. 

For example, I used LC's subject heading search to learn the subject heading for anime is not 'anime' but 'Animated films -- Japan.' Now I can use this subject heading in OneSearch or in other library databases to locate all resources concerning 'Animated films -- Japan'. 

Caveat searcher! Anytime you construct a query like this you're intentionally removing 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