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Assignment | Informative Speech (Crosby): Find Your Sources

SPCH 1315 | Prof. B. Crosby | Spring 2020

Before You Research

Scholarly articles are not the place to start your research. First, you need to get familiar enough with your topic that you can start to narrow it down, and for that you need more general information. This will help you develop context for your topic as well as get to know the specialized terms used by experts.

Finding Credible Sources

Evaluate sources for currency, relevance, accuracy, authority, and purpose

Library Resources

On the Web

Finding Scholarly Sources

Source Types

Information types: scholarly (expert authors, deep dive into subject material); trade (expert but more casual/informative); news (up to date, but not expert authors or especially analytical); reference sources are good for summaries but not for citing.

Our databases contain a little of everything!  What kind of source gives you what type of information?

Click the image to view full-size. It's rather oversimplified, honestly, but it'll give you a framework to start with.

Google Better

You can streamline the quality of your Google searches by focusing on government (.gov), education (.edu), and organization (.org) domains in your results.

  • .gov is the most strict to register -- non-government entities can't get it!
  • .edu is mostly universities, but you'll sometimes come across some K-12 entities with this domain. Make sure you're not reading a student paper as a source, though!
  • .org is the least reliable of these three, since it doesn't take much to form an organization.

 

Google has some advanced search commands to make this quicker. Just add site:___ to your search! E.g. site:nasa.gov or even just site:.edu. Try it below!

Google Web Search

Accessing the Databases

Access 100+ databases organized by subject area from the Research Databases page. Also try our dynamic, sortable database list!

Student ID BadgeTo access the databases locked icon (same icon that displays by the LSC-limited access resources) from off-campus, you must provide the 14-digit library barcode.

Don't have one yet? Request a barcode number online.