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Interpersonal Communication: Finding Your Sources For The COMM103 Research Paper (Sahlman): Home

This step-by-step guide is designed to help students identify sources for Professor Sahlman's COMM103 research paper.

COMM103: Interpersonal Communication (Sahlman)

Step One: Choose a Meaningful Topic and Get It Approved

Carefully review your assignment and then choose an interpersonal communication topic that you find interesting and meaningful. We highly recommend you attend an office hour to discuss your potential topic with your professor. You'll not only get peace of mind knowing your topic is approved, but your professor can give you ideas on how to narrow your topic and help you brainstorm search terms. 

Step Two: Do Some Preliminary Reading on Your Topic

Do some background reading/viewing to get more acquainted with your topic. You are not finding your required sources at this point; rather, you are gaining the knowledge you will need to understand those required sources. The 20 required sources will consist largely of original studies and experiments. They are articles are written BY communication scholars FOR communication scholars. They contain specialized language and assume you are familiar with basic concepts of interpersonal communication. Preliminary reading gives you chance for you to find some easier to read sources and gain the knowledge you need to understand the more scholarly material. It is a wise investment of time!

Googling your topic and/or searching YouTube are two ways to find good background sources.

Step Three: Search Library Databases Containing Scholarly Sources

The databases linked below can also be accessed through the Library's Articles & Databases page.


Step Four: Search Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a specialized part of Google that helps researchers find scholarly articles and case law. You can connect the MJC Library to your Google Scholar account, which will allow you to identify articles available in the Library's databases. Some of the articles you find will also be available in PDF format. If you find articles behind a pay wall, try emailing the authors and requesting a copy of their research. This almost always works!

Google Scholar Search

Step Five: Examine the References of Relevant Articles You Found in Steps 3 & 4

When you find articles that align with your topic, closely examine the References list of these articles. This is a great way to identify other great sources on your topic. The References list will provide everything you need to search for the article in our databases and/or using a search engine: author(s), title, journal name, volume, issue, date, and pages. If you need help with this process, talk to a librarian.

Step Six: Cite Your Sources in APA Format

Check database citations and create citations for articles found on the web by consulting with the MJC Library's APA guide. 


Need Help Find or Citing Sources? Ask Kathleen

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Kathleen Ennis
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