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MC 4386: Journalism Project: Background Research
This course guide is for Kym Fox's MC 4386 Senior Capstone course.
Okay, you have a topic. Now what? Learn everything you can!
Gathering background information on a person or learning the history of an association or cultural event will help you create a better story. You will be able to ask more informed questions of your sources, understand the context of what/who you are reporting on, and be a more informed citizen.
Depending on your topic you may need to delve deep into county records, submit an open records request, or simply read a few articles to become better informed. Give yourself time to brainstorm the different avenues you could pursue.
This page provides specific databases that may help you in your research. Not finding what you're looking for? Search Research Databases for additional options.
Start Your Research here to search all types of content including articles, books, ebooks, streaming media, dissertations, and more from many different publishers and vendors. Dates vary.
This database (located on the main library website in the large search box) combines the library catalog with several of the most commonly used databases. This search is provided by EBSCO and serves as an efficient starting place for research. If your search results are not as relevant to your topic as you would like, try utilizing specific Research Databases.
Full Text Finder locates the full text of an article by checking other databases besides the one you are currently searching. Some students assume this means Alkek Library does not have access to an article. That is not true. If you get taken to a page without the full-text, follow the directives on the page to try a different way to access the article.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND: Compiled list of resources for everything from data visualization, podcasting, covering the weather, transcription and more. Updated regularly by the Society of Professional Journalists.
Complete electronic editions of more than 5,300 U.S. and international news sources from 140 countries on six continents. It features most major U.S. news sources circulation, including Texas newspapers, plus many hard-to-find local and regional titles that are unavailable elsewhere.
Varies by title.
Background on current and hot topics
The following databases focus on current issues and trends in various disciplines. These databases provide articles on broad topics but are helpful in gaining context on particular topics. From there, you can use what you learn to conduct further research.
In-depth, unbiased coverage of health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, economy, and global affairs. Reports include an introductory overview; background and chronology on the topic; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources.
Coverage: 1923 to present