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COMM 2045: Public Speaking: 2. Find Sources

Select Keywords

These are the words you type into OneSearch or into one of our databases to find your sources. Let's Practice!

Research Topic: The negative effects plastic has on oceans
Keywords: plastic, pollution, ocean, health, marine, trash 
Research Topic: The environmental benefits of driving an electric car
Keywords: electric cars, environmental benefit 

If you aren't finding useful information, try using different keywords:

  • sea instead of ocean
  • vehicle or automobile instead of car

Basic Sources

Books

For background or overview information.

On OneSearch, use the Resource Type filter on the left side to narrow results to books/ebooks.

Articles

Find Specific and recent information.

On OneSearch, use the Resource Type filter on the left side to narrow results to journal articles.

Websites

Find latest and local information.

Use credible domains like .gov, .edu, and .mil. For .org sites, check the About Us page to see where they are funded and what their mission is.

Save time on Google! Search your keywords with site:gov, site:org, etc. to narrow results to a specific domain.

Ex. Japan whaling site:gov
  1. Type your keywords into OneSearch. Remember: More keywords gives you fewer search results.
  2. To the left of the results, limit the Creation Date to the last 5 years
  3. Are the results over 15,000? Narrow your topic. Are they under 50? Broaden your topic.
  4. When you find a source that might work, do not read it but use the tools to email it to yourself.

How to Read an eBook

eBooks are an excellent way to find background and overview information for research. Learn how to divide and conquer eBook sections and how to search for information within an eBook, in the following tutorial.