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COMM 101 (Oral Rhetoric)

Using Search Start

Screenshot of Hekman Library website homepage.The Search Start tool on the library's website works by running your search in the library catalog, MeLCat (a shared catalog of libraries across Michigan), and some of our research databases (grouped by the vendors EBSCO and ProQuest, as well as JSTOR).

It can be a good place to explore your topic, and determine what type of research on the topic is available in the library's collection (books and articles).

Reference Sources at Hekman

We have many academic, college-level encyclopedias in our Print Reference collection on the 2nd floor of the library.  To find relevant titles on your topic in that collection, search the library catalog by keyword or subject, and limit the collection to Reference.  (Or add the term "encyclopedia" as a search term.) 

The library also has access to a number of online reference sources.  The major collections of these online resources are represented in the tabs above.

Logo - Text "GVRL Research Matters" in white and black lettering in an orange box with a black strip on the left containing "GALE" in white lettering.Through Gale E-Books, we have access to authoritative encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories, handbooks, almanacs and other reference materials on a range of topics, from religion to business to history.

Search tip: Limit your search by Audience to "Academic." 

Logo - Text "Oxford Reference" and other in white lettering in dark teal box to the right of a multicolored tree graph on an orange floor and against a light blue background.We have access to over 50 titles through the Oxford Online Reference platform.  Topics focus mostly on the humanities.

Search tip: Limit your search by Availability to "unlocked" and "free."  This will return results only from reference titles we have access to.

                            Sage Knowledge includes encyclopedias and other reference works on social science topics. We have access to over 70 titles through this database.

Search tip: Limit your search to "Available to Me." This will give you access only to the titles our library has purchased.

Use Scholarly Reference Sources

In some subject areas, there are scholarly, well-known reference sources you could use for research.  Two examples include Oxford Art Online and Oxford Music Online (both include the Grove encyclopedias, multi-volume print sets long considered the authoritative scholarly reference source for those subjects).

Also remember to check out the recommended print and online reference sources in the subject guide(s) related to your topic. 

Using the Web for Background Info

  • If you do use Wikipedia as a starting point, check out the references and be sure that those are credible and authoritative.
  • Look for an "expert" (and unbiased) organization or association website related to your topic.
  • You may also try to find a governmental website (U.S. or international) related to your topic.