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COMM 1000 - Fundamentals of Communication and Media Studies - Prof. Patrick: COMM 1000 Course Page

This guide was created for students enrolled in Prof Patrick's COMM 1000 - Fundamentals of Communication and Media Studies course.

Critical Research Paper Assignment

Library Instruction Goals / Course Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Construct an argument in response to claims made in academic literature and/or non-academic sources
  • Use key concepts from the communication and media studies discipline
  • Develop scholarly research skills
  • Produce a well-researched, argumentative paper

Assignment: Research a topic of your choice. Cite one assigned reading, and two external sources (academic or non-academic)

Select a Response Option 

  1. analyze and debate a theory
  2. apply a theoretical framework to analyze a text

Selecting a Database to Search

  1. Not all database are equal. Read the description of the database carefully.  If you select a database and do not find content that you can use for your paper you may need to: try another database, revise your search terms; email your librarian ( and ask for help.  
  2. Use the Keyword Worksheet in the library handout to help you think critically about the words you have selected to search. Look for alternate keywords in the text of your assigned readings. Look for related subject headings in the database descriptions of the articles that you find as you search.
  3. When you save an article, make sure you write a note to yourself stating why you liked the article and how you plan to use it in your paper.
  4. Be aware of bias in the sources that you select and make sure that you address it in your paper.

Recommended Database - Communcation & Mass Media Complete

Sample search : ADVANCED SEARCH

keyword box 1 = vlog* or "video blog*" or "social media"

AND keyword box 2 = advertis*

Limit by Date : 01/01/2015 - 12/31/2020

Sort by Relevance or Date

General Searching Tips

  • Use the Advanced Search
  • Enter each separate keyword concept in a different box
  • Select the Boolean/Phrase radio button
  • Limit by Date, Limit by Source Type (depending on your needs), Limit by Full Text
  • Use an asterisk * at the end of a word to get variant endings : child* yields child and children
  • Use quotation marks to search for a phrase, two adjacent words in the same order : "cookie monster"

Other Recommended Databases

Training Videos For Selected Databases

Evaluating Sources

What about Google?

There may be good resources available via the free web, but it is your responsibility to look critically at the sources you choose. If you cannot write a citation for a source, then you may not want to choose it for your paper.  You should be prepared to defend the authority, accuracy, timeliness, and appropriate context of the sources you choose.

Citation Style Websites

Communication & Media Studies Research Guide

Need Help? Email Me!

Jane Suda, Head of Reference & Information Services

Reference & Instruction Department

Reference & Instruction Department
Fordham University Libraries

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