Okay, you have a topic. Now what? Learn everything you can! 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.
Reference materials, including encyclopedias and dictionaries, can be used when you are starting your research to get background information.
They are great for giving you keywords that you can use when you start searching for articles on your topic in the library databases or on the web.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND: Journalist's Toolbox is a compiled list of resources for everything from data visualization, podcasting, covering the weather, transcription and more. Updated regularly by the Society of Professional Journalists.
Subject dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks typically provide background essays, definitions, broad overviews of various topics, or other pertinent facts.
Encyclopedia of Journalism eBook
Communication research: Strategies and Sources
Dictionary of Media and Communication Studies
Dictionary of Cultural and Critical Theory
Dictionary of Cultural Studies
Encyclopedic Dictionary of Semiotics, Media, and Communications
Encyclopedia of International Media and Communications
Encyclopedia of Public Relations
Encyclopedia of Rhetoric