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COMM 125: Introduction to Motion Pictures

This guide will help you find resources for your Motion Pictures research paper using databases and other library resources. It also provides information on how to read a scholarly article and cite sources.

How to use this guide

Hello, and welcome to the COMM 125 Introduction to Motion Pictures Library Guide. This guide recommends several resources you can use for your Research Paper assignment, and some tips on their use.

The resources recommended below are called "databases." These databases are searchable collections of information sources. They are separate and distinct from ".com" internet sources, so anything you find in them can be used for your assignment.

If you have any specific questions on using these resources, or just need help finding quality materials for your research paper, be sure to Ask a Librarian for assistance!

Research paper resources

Most of these databases will use an advanced search option that lets you create specific searches for specialized content. For some tips on advanced searching, check the PDF below:

The content you find in most of these databases will be "scholarly." This means that it is written by and for experts within a specific subject. It is the type of content you are expected to use at a college level. For more information on reading scholarly materials, check the Reading a scholarly article page to the right.

Many of these databases share the same interface. You can search databases with the same interface at the same time!
If you are looking at one of the EBSCOhost databases, select, "Choose Databases" above the search boxes to choose multiple databases.

Image displaying "Choose Databases" feature in EbscoHost Databases


Components of scholarly articles:

  • Abstract: Brief summary of the article, including methodology and results.
  • Introduction: Background information about the topic of research, with reasoning for why the study is being done.
  • Methods: How the study was done. The details of the research, including setup and how data was collected.
  • Results/Findings: Presentation of the data from the study. This section often includes charts, tables and graphs as visual representations of the data.
  • Discussion: Analysis of the data, and how the study relates to existing knowledge of the topic. The authors evaluate whether the results of their study actually answered their research question.
  • Conclusion: The authors wrap up the article by discussing how their study adds to the existing knowledge on the topic and outline potential research for further studies.
  • References: List of resources (articles, books, journals, etc) that authors consulted when developing their research.

Strategies for reading:

  • Don’t be afraid to jump around: Scholarly articles don't have to be read like a book, paragraph by paragraph, line by line. It's ok to skim and scan! 
  • Read the abstract first: Previews the entire article, makes it easier to judge whether it is relevant.
  • Next, read the introduction and conclusion: Learn more about the topic of study and what the authors found out in the process.
  • Take a look at the tables, charts and graphs: Get a better idea of the results of the research or analytical study. 
  • Mark it up: Engage with your source! Take notes, highlight important sections. Look for what is missing as well as what is there. 
  • Find the source: Consult the introduction and references for other potential sources to follow up on. 

The databases you use provide automatic citation information for the articles you view. However, please keep in mind that these citations are machine generated, and not always 100% accurate. For instructions on correctly formatting in APA Style, check the Purdue OWL guide:

For the EBSCOHost databases, find the citation information using the Cite icon:

Ebsco citation feature highlighted

In the GALE Databases, look for the Citation Tools icon:

Gale citation tools feature highlighted