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COMM 2381: Oral Communication

This research guide is built to assist all sections of COMM2381 with their topics.

Databases to Start Your Search

Can You Trust It? Some Questions To Ask...

Even when you're reading what you think are credible sources, be sure to ask several questions about the:

  • Author: Who is the author? What can you learn about his/her credentials and expertise and how they relate to the topic? Has the author written much on this or other topics?
  • Source: In what journal/magazine/website is this published? What can you learn about the source’s history, target audience, funding, and bias? Who gets published in this source and how?
  • Purpose: What is the author’s goal: to persuade, inform, or entertain? How does this relate to your purpose?
  • Style: Is the article well-written? Is it formal or casual in tone? What types of evidence does the author offer to support his/her argument? Do they cite outside sources? Do they conduct a research study? Do they analyze textual sources?
  • Relevance: Does this information provide information you need as you prepare your speech?
  • Perspective: Does it contain opinion and obvious or explicit bias? Are diverse perspectives offered or analyzed?

Also ask yourself HOW you’ll use the source. The way you plan to use the source will help you evaluate its quality, purpose, and relevance to your project! Good speeches need background, evidence, and argument: 

  • Background – context and facts
  • Evidence – primary sources to interpret or analyze
  • Argument – secondary sources to affirm, refute, improve, or build on
  • Method – theoretical frameworks or research methods