Communication Studies

IC Library Print & Media Resources

Selected Subject Searches

(Click to run targeted Subject searches in the IC Library catalog)

Broadly Speaking:

Linguistic change
Language and languages
Language and languages--Origin
Language and languages--Philosophy
Oral Communication
Speech acts (Linguistics)
Discourse analysis

Addressing an Audience:

Public speaking
English language--Rhetoric
Rhetorical criticism
Persuasion (Rhetoric)
Figures of speech

Oratory, Ancient
Rhetoric, Ancient
Speeches, addresses, etc., Greek--History and criticism
Speeches, addresses, etc., Latin--History and criticism

Oratory--United States--History
Political oratory--United States
Communication in politics--United States
Rhetoric--Political aspects--United States
Rhetoric--Political aspects--United States--20th century
Speeches, addresses, etc., American
Speeches, addresses, etc., American--History and criticism
Presidents--United States--Inaugural addresses

Forensics (Public Speaking)
Forensic orations
Debates and debating
Verbal self-defense
Sermons, American
Lectures and lecturing
Radio announcing
Television announcing
Storytelling--Psychological aspects
Storytelling--United States
Oral tradition
Oral history
Oral interpretation
Oral interpretation of poetry

Getting Personal:

Communication--Psychological aspects
Interpersonal communication
Interpersonal relations
Interpersonal relations in adolescence
Interpersonal conflict
Communication in small groups
Conversation analysis
Dialogue analysis
Telephone calls

Politeness (Linguistics)
Taboo, Linguistic
Invective--Psychological aspects

Communication--Sex differences
Language and languages--Sex differences
English language--Sex differences
Sexism in language
Nonsexist language

Female friendship
Male friendship
Men--United States
Men--United States--Psychology
Women--United States
Women--United States--Attitudes
Women--United States--Psychology

Emotions--Sex differences
Interpersonal attraction
Sexual attraction
Love--Psychological aspects
Intimacy (Psychology)

Marriage--Psychological aspects
Marriage--United States
Communication in marriage
Families--Psychological aspects
Families--United States
Communication in families
Family--Psychological aspects
Domestic relations
Parent and child
Father and child
Mother and child
Interpersonal communication in infants
Language acquisition
Language development
Brothers and sisters
Parent and adult child
Intergenerational relations
Conflict of generations
Conflict of generations--United States

Going Public:

Communication--Social aspects
Social networks
Oral communication--Social aspects
Discourse analysis--Social aspects
Rhetoric--Social aspects
English language--Social aspects
English language--Social aspects--United States

Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech--United States
Hate speech
Hate speech--United States

Communication in organizations
Small groups
Communication in small groups
Communication in management
Communication in personnel management
Business communication
Business presentations
Work environment
Office politics
Problem employees
Teams in the workplace
Teams in the workplace--Management
Bullying in the workplace
Violence in the workplace
Sex role in the work environment
Sex role in the work environment--United States
Gender identity in the workplace
Homosexuality in the workplace--United States
Diversity in the workplace
Diversity in the workplace--United States

Communication in education
Communication in science
Communication in medicine
Communication in politics
Communication in politics--United States
Communication in sports

Group identity
Group identity--United States
Language and culture--United States
Communication and culture--United States
Intercultural communication--United States
Whites--Race identity
Whites--Race identity--United States
African Americans--Race identity
African Americans--Communication
African Americans--Language
African Americans--Languages
Racism in language
Asian Americans--Race identity
Asian Americans--Languages
Ethnicity--United States
Hispanic Americans--Race identity
Hispanic Americans--Language
Hispanic Americans--Languages
Communication--Religious aspects
Communication--Religious aspects--Christianity
Communication--Religious aspects--Judaism
Communication--Religious aspects--Islam
Communication--Religious aspects--Buddhism

Communication and culture
Language and culture
Intercultural communication
Communication, International
Language and languages--Variation
Languages in contact
Language attrition

Going Virtual:

Communication and technology
Communication--Technological innovations
Communication--Technological innovations--Social aspects
Interpersonal communication--Technological innovations--Social aspects
Social interaction--Technological innovations
Technological innovations--Social aspects
Language and the Internet.

Telecommunication--Social aspects
Telecommunication--United States
Mobile communication systems--Social aspects
Wireless communication systems--Social aspects
Cell phones--Social aspects
Digital communications--Social aspects
Digital media--Social aspects
Digital media--Social aspects--United States

Virtual reality--Social aspects
Cyberspace--Social aspects
Computer networks--Social aspects
Internet--Social aspects
Online identities
Online identities--Social aspects
Social media
Online social networks
Online social networks--Political aspects
Online social networks--Psychological aspects
Online social networks--Social aspects
Online social networks--United States


English language--Diction
English language--Phonetics
English language--Pronunciation
English language--Spoken English
English language--Spoken English--United States
English language--Semantics
English language--Variation--United States
English language--Dialects
English language--Dialects--United States
English language--United States
English language--United States--History
English language--United States--Rhetoric
English language--Slang
Linguistic minorities--Education--United States
African Americans--Languages
Black English
Creole dialects
English language--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers  [ESL]

Body English:

Body language
Nonverbal communication

Bawdy English:

Language and sex
Words, Obscene
English language--Obscene words
Obscenity (Law)--United States

IC Library Databases (Articles)

Journals by Title

     The databases below allow you to search by topic for articles in thousands of newspapers, magazines, and journals.  If you wish to see full-text availability for a particular publication, use the "Journals" search on the Library home page (just to the right of the default "Catalog")..  You can also use the following links to browse full-text journals in English Language, Communication & Mass Media, and Philology & Linguistics.

     In the area of communication research, the flollowing journals are accessible via IC Library databases
     For a list of international open access journals of communication research, check out this list from the International Association for Media and Communication Research.

General OneFile

      General OneFile : is the most user-friendly of our comprehensive databases, covering almost any topic from a wide range of disciplinary angles and offering lots of full text. Use the default Subject search to find the best subject heading for your topic (and when you find a good one be sure to look at the "Related Subjects" to see if there's something even better). Among the Subjects available here are Oral Communication, Public Speaking, Communication Apprehension, Conversation, Interpersonal Communication, Intercultural Communication, Linguistic Analysis, Forensic Oratory, Political Oratory, and Rhetoric.
      When you settle on a subject heading, open the "Subdivisions" link below it. Most General OneFile subject searchs produce very large retrievals and the "subdivisions" help you narrow your search to a particular aspect: "Economic aspects," "Ethical aspects," "Forecasts and Trends," "History," "Media Coverage," "Political aspects," "Psychological aspects," "Social aspects," and "Statistics," to name only a few.
If the best available subdivision is still too broad, open it and add your own Keywords in the "Search within these results" slot at the upper left.
      And note: If yor're looking for the transcript and/or audio of a speech by a particular person or on a specific topic, search the person (last name first) or topic in the initial Subject slot, then open the "Subdivisions" and see if there's one for "Speeches, Lectures, and Essays." If there is, open it and look for transcripts (also note that under "Content Types" at the upper left there may be link to "Audio").
      User Advisory: When first viewing your retrievals in General OneFile, note that you are seeing onlythe "Magazines" (popular articles) and must click on the tabs for "Academic Journals" (scholarly articles) or "News" (newspaper articles) to see those results.

Academic Search Premier

      Academic Search Premier Comprehensive subject coverage with considerable full text. Note that there is a “Subject Terms” link just above the search boxes, allowing you to search the index of Subject Headings--often a good first stop for more efficient Subject searching whereby you are guaranteed that your topic is indeed a main subject of the articles retrieved.
      If you're looking for a speech transcript for a person or on a particular topic, set the "Document Type" limit--below the search slots on the left--to "Speech," and then search the person in the "PE People" field, last name first, or enter the topic in the Keyword or Subject field.
      A good initial strategy in this database is to search a likely topic in the Subject Terms and when you find it “explode” the term by double clicking it--this brings up a list of related Subject terms. You can check as many terms as you like before "adding" them to your search by AND-ing or OR-ing them together. Among the Headings available here are Oral Communication, Public Speaking, Speech Anxiety, Speech Acts, Psycholinguistics, Communicative Competence, Language & Emotions, and Intercultural Communication. And try exploding Interpersonal Communication to see the vast range of related Subjects.
      User Advisory: For any retrieved set of articles, there will be a box displayed on the left that will limit the articles to “Scholarly” journals—just check the box and click the “Update Results” button below.
And note that on the initial search screen you are offered a "Document Type" limit that can be set to "Speech" or, if you are researching an issue, "Editorial."

Communication Source

     Communication Source : Like Academic Search Premier, this is an Ebsco database with most of the features described above.  Use the Thesaurus above the search slots to browse available Subject Headings.  Once you find one, "explode" it by double clicking and scan all the related Headings.  Among those available here are Oral Communication, Conversation, Interpersonal Communication, Public Speaking, Verbal Ability, Communication Competence, Sociolinguistics, Language & Culture, Discourse Analysis, and Oratory.

Communication Studies

     Communication Studies: a SAGE Full-Text Collection : As compared to Communication and Mass Media above, this database is more exclusively focused on media and culture in relation to communication.  The Descriptors (Subject Headings) may be browsed in advance if you click on "Browse" above the search slots, then choose "Browse/Search by Descriptor," and then choose "Communication Studies" as your collection.  Among the available Descriptors are Oral Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Conversation, Discourse Analysis, Rhetoric, and Cross Cultural Communication.

ProQuest Research

      ProQuest Research Library : is a comprehensive database with substantial full text. Use the "Thesaurus" (above the search slots) to preview what Subject Headings are available. Subect searching can be a more efficient way to search than with only Keywords, since it guarantees that the articles retrieved actually be about the Subject--not just use a particular word. The Headings here include Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, Conversation, Psycholinguistics, and Sociolinguistics.
      Note that to the right of your search results you can limit your retrieval by "Source Type" (including Magazines, Newspapers, Scholarly Journals), "Document Type," (including Cover Story, Editorial, or Interview), "Document Feature" (including Photographs, Illustrations), and "Location."
Above each set of articles you retrieve ProQuest will display related Subject searches to help either broaden or narrow your focus.
      User Advisory: ProQuest is fussy about entering Subject searches in the designated search slot. If your subject is a person, enter the name--last name first--in the "Person" slot; if a named group of any kind--Microsoft, the Catholic Church, Radiohead, the New York Mets--enter it in "Co/Org"; if a place enter it in "Location."


    PsycINFO :  The American Psychological Association use their own Subject vocabulary , so a visit to the "Thesaurus" above the search slots is a good idea. If you find an article on exactly what you want, be sure to check the assigned "Subjects" for more ideas about useful search terms.  Among the Subjects available here are Oral Communication, Public Speaking, Speech Anxiety, Interpersonal Communication, Speech Perception, Psycholinguistics, Cognitive Linguistics, and Metalinguistics.
     PsycINFO deals only with scholarly literature, much of it assuming a graduate-level understanding of the discipline.  But among these you may find interesting, accessible articles on your topic.  
     User Advisory: If what you're searching for are "journal articles only" in "English," it's a good idea to check those boxes (below the search slots).


      SocINDEX with Full Text : As the name implies, an excellent database for social issues. Click on the "Subject Terms" link above the search slots to find which Subject Headings will work here. Double click any Heading for a list of broader, narower, and related Subject Terms. And note that you can check the boxes to select as many Headings as you like and then "add to search using or" and run the search--all without even retyping the terms back on the home page. In addition to the usual Headings for Oral Communication and Public Speaking, you'll find Sociolinguistics, English Language--Social Aspects, Speech & Social Status, Racism in Language, Language Minorities, Language Policy, and Intercultural Communication..

MLA International Bibliography

     MLA International Bibliography  provides the most complete and fully indexed coverage of articles and books on modern literatures, linguistics, folklore, rhetoric, and composition from 1925 to the present. There is ample full text provided by ProQuest, as well as links to full-text articles in JSTOR and Project Muse. Full text from other IC databases is also readily available via the "GetIt" links below article citations.
     Because books, book chapters/essays, and dissertations will usually not be available full text, you may wish to limit your search to "Journal article" under "Source type."
     "Author's Work" and "Author as Subject" will be especially helpful search fields at finding literary criticism. And for additional search field options either click on "Show more fields," or, for the complete list, open the drop-down menus to the right of the "Anywhere" default for the top three rows of search slots. This list includes both "Literary Influence"--who influenced a particular author you have entered--and "Literary Source"--who was influenced by that particular author.
     If you set up a free "My Research" account with Proquest (top right), you can save all the articles you check, all the searches you want to remember, and set up e-mail or RSS notification for any new articles that match your search terms.


      JSTOR : covers a wide range of scholarly journals in most disciiplines, always beginning with the first issue of each one. This provides 100% full text access to articles from not only the first half of the 20th century but even the second half of the 19th. Be aware, however, that at the other end of the date range articles don't appear in JSTOR until at least 2-3 years after publication. Also be aware that for 100% full text you must change the setting from "include links to external content" to "include only content I can access."
      JSTOR offers only a Keyword search of its complete full text, so retrievals are large, but the relevancy ranking does a good job of putting the strongest matches on the first few pages. This relevancy ranking does not weigh date, however, and will display a mix of articles written decades apart. So if your topic is time sensitive, be alert to publication dates.
      User Advisory: The academic journals covered here feature numerous book reviews, so it's a good idea to tic the "Article" limit below the search slots so you won't be overwhelmed by book reviews on your topic.
Also note the "Date Range" limit, which in a database with an archive this deep can be very useful.


     LexisNexis Academic  News:  Offering a keyword search of 100% full text from a vast number of national and international newspapers, this is an easy database to use poorly and a bit tricky to use well. In order not to be overwhelmed with articles in which your search terms are mentioned anywhere—first or last paragraph—or any number of times—once or ten times—use commands to target articles in which your topic words are mentioned early or mentioned often.
     Use the hlead command (headline and lead paragraphs) to target articles in which your topic words occur in the prime news-story position of headline or first paragraphs. For example: hlead(fracking and pollution) will retrieve just the articles in which the words “fracking” and “pollution” are used in the headline or first paragraphs. Note: the term or terms to which you want this command to apply must be put in parentheses after hlead, with no space between.
     Use the altleast command to target articles in which your topic words occur a set number of times. For example: atleast5(“gay marriage”) will retrieve only the articles where this phrase is used at least 5 times—indicating that it must be a main topic. You can plug in any number after atleast—atleast3 or atleast7. Note: the term or terms to which you want this command to apply must be put in parentheses with no space between the number you choose and the first parenthesis.
     Use the date range offered under Advanced Options. Because this is a large database of 100% full text, one of the most effective ways to retrieve fewer than 1000 hits is to set up a time frame. Note: if you use the calendar icons to set beginning and end dates, you need to choose a year, a month, and a day for each. Without the day, the date won’t register.

     LexisNexis Academic  Law Reviews: Offering a keyword search of 100% full text law reviews (publishers of scholarly articles on legal issues), this is an easy database to use poorly and a bit tricky to use well. In order not to be overwhelmed by articles in which your search terms are mentioned in passing but are not the prime focus, use the atleast command to target articles in which your topic words are required to appear at least a certain number of times. For example, atleast5(“gun control”) or atleast7(genes and patents) will retrieve only the articles in which those terms are used repeatedly. Note: the term or terms to which you want this command to apply must be put in parentheses with no space between the number you choose and the first parenthesis.
     Use the date range offered under Advanced Options. Because this is a large database of 100% full text, one of the most effective ways to retrieve fewer than 1000 hits is to set up a time frame. Note: if you use the calendar icons to set beginning and end dates, you need to choose a year, a month, and a day for each. Without the day, the date won’t register.


      ScienceDirect : Don't be misled by the name: ScienceDirect covers both the Sciences and Social Sciences. Because it’s a large database with a great deal of full text, the absence of Subject searching means that your Keyword searches will often retrieve large sets of articles, many of which mention but don’t discuss your search term(s). One way around this is to limit your initial search to the “Abstract Title Keyword” field. Once you have found an article that sounds on-target, click the “Related Articles” link beneath the citation This will open a range of articles on the same topic. For a glimpse of the kind of resources you can find here, try--communication and (sex or gender)--in the AbstractTitleKeyword field.
      User Advisory: Don't settle for the default "Quick Search"--open "Search" for the full range of options. Among thse you can uncheck "All books," which is recommended if you're looking for articles. And if you open the "Dates" drop-down menu you'll find a much wider range of options than the default 10 year span.

Polling the Nations

     Polling the Nations : Polling data can be useful in making a persuasive argument, and this database provides a wide range of sources from 1986 to the present.  Click on "Begin Search" and then take advantage of the drop-down menu of available "Topics."  You can also specify the "Universe" or geographic location of the poll, but the bulk of the polling information here is from North America and Western Europe. 
     User Advisory: Begin by searching on a Topic without place or date limits--to see the full extent of available data.  If this proves sufficiently large, then add desired limits by location, date, or pollinng source.  All these limits can dramatically reduce your retrievals--which is why it's a good idea first to establish the full extent of polling data on a given topic. 

Where's the full text for this Article??

     Few databases offer 100% full text.  Most retrieve a mix of full text articles and article "citations"--article title, author(s), publication info, and usually an "abstract" or one-prargraph summary of the content.  When a citation makes you want the full text, look below it for this icon: 
     Clicking "GETIT" checks (almost all) the IC Library's other databases to see if any offers the full text of the article--or if the Library has a print subscription to the journal in which the article appeared. 

  • "GETIT" will usually find the full text in another database and open it in a new window.  
  • If none of our databases can access the full text but we have a print subsciption to the journal, "GETIT" will retrieve the Library catalog record for the journal so that you can see if the date of the article falls within the date range we have on hand.
  • If full text is not available from any database or from a print subsciption, "GETIT" will provide a link to the IC Library's Interlibrary Loan.  Log in (same as your IC e-mail)--and set up your account if you've never used it before.  "GETIT" will have populated the article request form with all the necessary information and you simply submit the request elecrtonically.  Most articles are supplied as digital files and will be sent to you via e-mail when they arrive.

Contact Us

picture of Cathy Michael

Cathy Michael

Communications Librarian
(607) 274-1293

Search Argos

Need a Topic?

Try Finding a Topic: Online Resources.

Selected Ebook Central Titles

Note: This small sample is intended to indicate the range of disciplines and topics relevant to Communication Studies.

Web Resources

Selected Sites

Speeches & Public Speaking:
  • American Rhetoric: Database of and index to 5000+ full text, audio and video versions of public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, interviews, other recorded media events, and a declaration or two.
  • Forum Network: Audio/Video files collected by PBS/NPR.  This link takes you to the advanced search screen where you can browse general categories and subcategories, in addition to a keyword search.
  • Speeches: Audiovideo files from 1500 videos and over 500 audios.
  • Online Media Resources:  From UC Berkeley, a comprehensive gateway to video and audio resources on the Web.
  • Earliest Voices: A library of audio files and transcripts of voices from the first fifty years of sound recording: 1877-1927.
  • World's Famous Orations:  Links to the full text of almost 300 speeches chosen by William Jennings Bryant in 1906.
  • Silva Rhetoricae: Dr. Gideon Burton's guide to classical rhetoric and its contemporary relevance. Choose a topic from the left column or a term from the right.

Citation Help

MLA Citation

MLA is the citation style used by most disciplines in the Humanities. Here is my guide to the latest (2016) update of the MLA style.