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Communication Subject Guide

Steps for Researching Your Paper

There are several ways to research your topic for this paper, but the easiest way is to follow these steps to get started! Start with the literature (secondary sources) and then move onto the law (primary sources).

1) Start with subject specific databases to find out opinions concerning your paper topic.

  • You can find subject specific databases through our Research Guides page. Consider if your topic covers more than one subject area. 
  • If you are still struggling to pick a topic, you can always start with the Communication Research Guide and try searching in the Communication and Mass Media database or ProQuest Social Sciences database to get started.
  • Conduct some advanced searches with keywords about a topic(s) you are interested in exploring more.
  • Use limiters on the left hand side to limit your results.
  • Read through abstracts and articles to come up with more keywords and note specific cases for your topic.

2) Move onto the Law Research Guide to search law journals and actual case law. A great all in one resource is HeinOnline. See the box to the right for more details in how to search this resource.

HeinOnline Academic

When searching in HeinOnline, the first place to go for this paper is:

1) Browse by Database Name (second box on the homepage), then choose, Law Journal Library.

2) Search on the Full Text tab to see articles from law journals concerning your topic (you can use the same search you used in the subject specific databases). These articles are great in helping you gather more opinions about your topic and to discover case numbers and other sources to explore.

3) To search actual cases, go to the Case Law tab and put in the case number. Case law are primary sources for your paper.

Note: When searching for case law numbers you need to put in the full case number. Here are some examples of complete numbers: 249 U.S. 47, 389 U.S. 347, 137 S. Ct. 1678, 550 U.S. 618, 57 F.Supp.3d 1203