Salisbury University Libraries


Holloway Hall

CMAT218 - Class Guide

Getting Help

Hi, I'm Stephen Ford, your friendly research/instructional librarian, and I'm here to help you!  Visit my website for more information about me.

When I'm not teaching classes or rushing off to meetings, you can find me in my office in Blackwell Library 133 or at the Research Services Desk

You can also chat with a research librarian when our desk is open.  Click here for more information.

You can also get help 24 hours a day/7 days a week through the Maryland AskUsNow chat reference service:


Background Information

Reference sources are a good place to start your research.  What is a reference source?  A reference source is something you consult for a specific piece of information, not something you read from cover to cover.  Reference sources include encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, thesauri, atlases, almanacs, directories, etc.  Blackwell Library's reference collection is located on the main floor.  Consult the Library of Congress Classification outline to see the call number area for your topic.

Why can't I just use Wikipedia, you ask? Well, anybody and their brother can get on Wikipedia and write whatever they want, for starters!  Plus, there are tons of more reliable, authoritative sources out there for you to use.  And, I just can't resist sharing my favorite Colbert Report clip about the downfalls of Wikipedia.  View it here (and please ignore the brief commercial at the beginning!):

Persuasive Narrative Speech - Advice!

1.  Choose a quotation

Of course you can use google, but we also have quotation sources in our reference collection.

  • Sports quotations : maxims, quips, and pronouncements for writers and fans
    Reference | GV707 .M25 2000

  • African American quotations
    Reference | PN6081.3 .A36 1998
  • Film quotations : 11,000 lines spoken on screen, arranged by subject, and indexed
    Reference | PN1994.9 .N69 1994
  • Familiar quotations : a collection of passages, phrases, and proverbs traced to their sources in ancient and modern literature
    Reference | PN6081 .B27 1992
  • A Dictionary of environmental quotations
    Reference | PN6084.N2 D53 1992 

2.  Find other sources on the Articles or Websites Tab

Persuasive Speech - Advice!

You're going to want a variety of sources for your speech.  Newspaper articles and journal articles will probably be your best best. Remember that scholarly journal artices are stronger, more valid sources than articles published in the popular press.  You also may want to locate statistics using the websites listed on the Websites Tab.

Analogy Speech - Advice!

1. Choose your historic event or person:

Year by Year 1900-2010

Brainy History Events

Wikipedia Events by Year

2. Search for articles in one of these databases:

(Note: You will be asked to log in with your Gull Card barcode number if you are off campus.)

  • Academic Search Complete - a multidisciplinary database containing both scholarly and popular sources, many of which have full-text available.  ASC is a good place to start your research.  Use the FindIt button to locate articles that are not available full-text.
  • Lexis Nexis Academic - this database contains full-text world news, legal and business information.

  • National Newspapers - a collection of full-text major newspapers including The New York Times and Washington Post.

There is more information about these databases and searching for articles under the "Articles" tab above!

Informative Speeches - Advice!

1. Exposition on a Subculture

You should be able to find plenty of sources about your subculture in the databases listed on the articles tab.  I would start with Academic Search Premier.  You could also look for websites, just remember to be evaluate the information very carefully.  See the tab on website evaluation for more information.

2. Demonstrative "How To"

Depending on what you're demonstrating, this website, How Stuff Works may be useful.  As long as what you're demonstrating is not obscure, you should be able to find websites and articles using the databases below.  If you choose to use websites, just remember to evaluate the information very carefully.  See the section below on website evaluation for more information.

3. My Chosen Career

The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook provides great information about the type of education and experience you need to acquire various jobs.  It also talks about the job market and how much money you can expect to make, etc.  You can likely find articles about the profession using the databases below as well.

4. Evidence in a Legal Case

I recommend searching LexisNexis to get the full text of the case you are interested in.  We also have many law reference books that can help explain unfamiliar legal terms.  Searching for newspaper articles about the case might also be helpful. 

5. News Event

What better way to talk about the news than to *read* the news?  The databases on the Articles Tab have newspaper articles in them, but LexisNexis and National Newspapers have the full-text articles.  Be sure to narrow the date range to include the story you are talking about.


Finding Articles & the FindIt Button

These are a few databases where you can find magazine and newspaper articles from the day or year you were born.  These links will work from off campus, but you will need to log in with the 14 digit barcode on the back of your Gull Card.

Remember that newspaper and magazine articles are "popular" sources.  Don't confuse these with "scholarly journal articles."  Click here for more information about the differences between popular magazines and newspapers, and scholarly journals.

Databases for Newspaper and Magazine Articles

  • Academic Search Complete - This database contains citations, abstracts, and SOME full text for magazine, newspaper and journal articles.  Use the Find It button to access things that aren't full text.

  • Lexis Nexis Academic - LexisNexis is a great source for full text newspapers from around the world.  It also has a lot of other cool stuff, but you will probably be most interested in the news articles for this project!

  • National Newspapers - This database has full text back to the 1980-1990's for 5 newspapers: Baltimore Sun, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.

Databases for Scholarly Journal Articles

  • Academic Search Complete - This database contains citations, abstracts, and SOME full text for magazine, newspaper and journal articles.  Use the Find It button to access things that aren't full text.  There are both popular and scholarly articles in this database, so if you are looking for only scholarly, check the box that limits to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed). *

  • Business Source Premier - company, industry, business information with the familiar EBSCO interface. *  If you are doing the Company Public Relations speech, you can get lots of company information in this database. 

  • Communication & Mass Media Complete - a NEW, awesome database that is all about Communication and Media studies.  This database ROCKS and you will want to use it. 
    A lot.  *

  • ERIC - "Education Resources Information Center," a database with full text education articles and ERIC documents as well as Find It links to non-full text resources.  *

  • JSTOR - scholarly full-text articles for almost every discipline; the newest documents are 3-5 years old.

  • PsycINFO - the gold standard database for psychology and related fields. *

  • Social Sciences Abstracts - articles and citations for interdisciplinary fields such as addiction studies, anthropology, corrections, economics, gender studies, gerontology, minority studies, political sciences, psychology, sociology, and more *

*These EBSCO databases can be searched simultaneously by checking them off in the "Choose Databases" box on the main search screen in any EBSCO database.  This is where to click to get to the Choose Databases box.


It's a bit like magic, really.  The Find It button does three things:

  • Looks in all of our databases to see if the document you want is available full-text in another of our databases.  If so, it links you to it!

  • Links you to the library catalog when we have the item you want in print or microform.

  • Links you to ILLiad (interlibrary loan) so you can borrow the item from another library if we don't have access electronically or in print.

The Find It button is YOUR FRIEND!!!  Watch this tutorial to see the FindIt Button in action!


Evaluating websites

Always make sure that internet resources are appropriate for your project.  Look at the criteria listed on this website:
If you have questions about the appropriateness of a website, please check with your professor or a librarian.

Some sites you might use to gather statistics:


Citing your work

Plagiarism is not cool.   This guide helps students understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it:  To avoid plagiarism, sources need to be properly cited.  APA citation will be used in this class. Whenever you're in doubt about your citation, check with me or another reference librarian!

Other sources of citation help:


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The library liaison to Communication is Stephen Ford, | 410-677-0118