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University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College

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Speech Communication: Doing Research

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Databases for Research

These databases will help you find articles from magazines, academic journals, and newspapers on a variety of topics.

Proquest LogoThe largest aggregated database of periodical content (magazines, newspapers, and journals) in a wide range of subjects.



Opposing Viewpoints in ContextOffers social issues and viewpoint articles, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, links to websites and full-text magazine and newspaper articles.



SIRS Issues ResearcherSIRS Knowledge Source offers analysis and opinions covering the pros, cons, and everything in between on the most researched and debated social issues.

Films for Research

Films on DemandA streaming video collection with more than 5,500 educational titles in dozens of subject areas.

Search the Web

Google Web Search

Is that website any good?

Before you use a website filled with bad information, go through the Website Evaluation Worksheet.  This will help you determine whether or not you can trust a website.  BEWARE - a speech built on bad information is a bad speech!

Search the Web specifically for Academic Journal Articles, etc.

You may encounter a large number of pay walls when you try to access articles from Google Scholar.  You can access many of the same scholarly articles from our library databases.

Google Scholar Search

Why Evaluate Websites?

Is my topic good for research?

Note: Topics must be approved by your instructor, but here are a few guidelines for helping determine whether a topic is really good for research (meaning: you will find enough credible sources).

To check your topic, do a test search in a database (maybe Academic OneFile):

  1. 10-150 Hits - Perfect!
  2. 200+ Hits - It is too broad!  Finding too much information is often times worse than not finding enough.  Narrow your search.  For example, instead of searching for "monkeys," search for "capuchin monkey."  Or what exactly do you want to say about it?  For example, instead of searching for "cancer," search for "breast cancer treatments."
  3. No Hits?  It may be too narrow.  If you do a database search for "the capuchin monkey my friend owns," you aren't going to find anything.  It is just too narrow of a topic.  However, you can broaden your search by just searching for "capuchin monkey." 
  4. No Hits?  You may be using the wrong keywords. Sometimes the problem is not that the topic is too narrow, you just might not be using the proper terminology. For example, if you are searching for "King Tut" you really need to search for "Tutenkhamen," "Tutankhamen," "Tutankhamon," "Tutankhaman," "Tutankhaten," you get the point.  You may not find much for King Tut because that is not how researchers refer to him, so you must think of how researchers would write their research papers about him. 

Subject Guide

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Ronica Crutchfield
3000 W. Scenic Drive
North Little Rock, AR 72118

Wondering how to do research?

If you are new to the research game, check some of these sites out:

Research Topics

Need help deciding on a good research topic? 

Microsoft Office available in the Library

Remember, UA-PTC Ottenheimer Libraries is here for you.  We have Microsoft Office for your use.  This includes:

  • PowerPoint - a great way to present information visually
  • Word - for creating outline and notes for your speech
  • Publisher - for creating dynamic handouts or posters

The Library now has a color printer/copier/scanner.  It costs $0.50/page to print, so plan accordingly.  We do have knowledgeable staff if you need help using any of the available technologies. 

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