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Communication & Journalism

Explore library resources related to communications and media studies research.

CA 103

Resources for CA 103

Find a Topic

Find a Topic

Stuck for inspiration? Use some of these sources to explore current issues to find a topic.

Concept Map Instructions

Create a Search Strategy

A concept map can help you identify the key ideas or concepts to use when you're researching your topic using books and articles. To complete the concept map:

  1. Open or print a copy of the blank Concept Map linked below. You can also view a completed sample version.
  2. Complete Step 1 on the worksheet by writing down your topic or research question, and identifying keywords in your topic (you should have two or three). These are the words or concepts that are most important in your topic. They may be a single word, or a short phrase.
  3. Complete Step 2 on the worksheet:
    1. Write your keywords in the boxes provided, with one keyword in each box.
    2. Brainstorm alternate keywords for each one. Alternate keywords could be synonyms, or similar concepts or ideas that fall within the same general category as your keywords.
    3. Write your alternate keywords in the box associated with each keyword.

Create a Concept Map

Create a Concept Map

Activity: Engage with Sources

Activity: Engage with Sources

All sources you find when engaging in research are part of an ongoing conversation about a particular topic. It's your job as a writer and researcher to evaluate your sources to determine their credibility and authority, and their contribution to the broader conversation.


"What is the impact of vaping on public health in the United States?"

Consider these questions as you examine the sources below.

What type of source are you looking at? Use the Information Sources handout to help you decide.
What aspects of this source should/would you consider in deciding whether to use this source in your own research?



  • Source publisher. What's their mission or purpose?
  • Source author. Who are they, and what authority do they have on this topic?
  • Sources referenced. Where do they lead? How easy is it to find citations?
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