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Communication & Media Studies: Beginning Research

The field of communication is defined as the theories and techniques used to convey meaning to others. It includes film, television, radio, journalism, advertising, public relations, digital design, semiotics, linguistics, social media, and more.

Communication & Media Studies Research

This guide provides an overview of resources at Fordham University Libraries and beyond for the following programs of study:

  • Communication and Culture
  • Film and Television
  • Digital Technologies and Emerging Media
  • Journalism
  • Public Media
  • New Media & Digital Design

   This page offers tips, guiding questions, and reference sources available through the library. Reference sources can provide authoritative background or summary information that will become helpful as you generate a research question, select keywords, and search for primary & secondary sources.

Areas of Focus

Communication & Media Studies focuses on the theories and techniques used to convey meaning to others. Identifying your area of focus helps generate keywords that help determine a direction when researching. Examples might include:

  • film, television, radio
  • journalism, news, mass media
  • legal, ethical, and political aspects
  • advertising & marketing
  • public relations, public opinion, propaganda
  • communications technology and digital design
  • semiotics & graphic design
  • video games
  • digital media & internet studies
  • linguistics, language
  • social aspects of communication
  • political aspects of communication
  • psychological aspects of communication

Reference Databases

Guiding Questions

Use the following questions as a guide to help chart a direction and select resources for your research:

  • What medium/mode of communication will you research? (e.g. film, journalism, blogs, television, gaming, social media, etc.)
  • Is the focus of your research historical or modern?
  • What theories and/or philosophies pertain to your research?
  • Should you consider nationality, ethnicity, race, gender, religion, or affiliation?
  • Are there legal, political, or ethical considerations?
  • Are there technical, economic, or industry related considerations?
  • How much and what type of information are you looking for? (e.g. scholarly articles, popular articles, books, images, data, images, video, sound recordings, etc.)


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Jane Suda
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Rose Hill Campus
Walsh Family Library
Room 128


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Tierney Gleason
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Rose Hill Campus | Walsh Family Library | Room 129

Reference & Instruction Department

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