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CAS 110 - Public Speaking (Carter)

This guide provides resources to help support the CAS 110 course and assignments.

Introduction to Finding Articles

Speeches should be grounded in research. For this class, whatever topic you choose, you should examine magazine, journal, newspaper articles, websites, blogs for accuracy. A list of general databases is provided. Academic Search Premier is a good place to start for all topics. Commonly used subject specific database is also listed on this page. A third list is devoted specifically to newspapers. (There is a complete list found on the Zondervan Library page under Research Resources.)  

Understanding Databases

Proprietary databases to which Taylor University subscribes have distinctive differences from search engines such as Google or Google Scholar. A database, generally, is a collection of information organized to provide efficient retrieval of subject matter, specifically scholarly subject matter. They tend to be narrower in scope than Google or Google Scholar. 

Prominent features of proprietary databases generally:

  • Cover specific discipline area/s.
  • Include academic (peer-reviewed) articles from journals or magazines, electronic books, newspapers, images and research related resources.
  • Provide citation information or full text to what may be included in the text of the article (a works cited or bibliography.)
  • Are subscriptions for which Zondervan pays. Whereas Google is free some databases are thousands of dollars per year.

Zondervan Library subscribes to over 75 research databases that contain journal, magazine, and newspaper articles on both general and specific disciplines. There are pros and cons for each option. Awareness of the content, organization, precision of search capabilities can save you time and yield the most appropriate and relevant results.

For more information see What is a library database? (Western Oregon University)

Research Strategies: Boolean

1. Start with the words that are familiar to you. If your research topic is: Should high schools have (American) football programs because of the incidences of concussions and brain damage? You could also reframe your question if needed: What is the correlation between concussion/brain damage in (American) football (not soccer).  Your possible search terms might be:

  • Concussion -- brain concussion
  • Football    
  • High school
  • Correlation -- effects                             

Each of these terms is entered into one of the search boxes on the database search screen.

AND   Football
NOT      Soccer

But this search may not and probably will not yield the best results. If you retrieve more than 50 items there is good reason to revise your search to obtain results closer to what you want. There is one other thing you can do to make your search more precise and useful:  determine additional synonyms or related terms that more closely describe your topic. Often these are more specific subject headings and use academic language. You can add these additional terms and join them in the same line. "Brain concussion: is more precise than "concussion." Some databases will give you help in a wordlist called a thesaurus. The thesaurus gives narrower, broader and related terms that are more commonly used.

     Concussion OR "brain concussion" OR "brain damage" OR "brain trauma" 
 AND  Football
 NOT     Soccer

You should know that there are three Boolean operators:

AND--each of the words or terms must be in the record, AND reduces the number of results.

OR--increases the size of the set you are searching.

NOT--excludes a particular word or concept from the search. 


Finding Journal Articles for Speeches: General

Finding Journal Articles for Speeches: Subject Specific

Finding Articles for Speeches: Newspapers