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ENG 285.06 (Principles of Speech): Research

This libguide has been specifically created to provide resources for Dr. Johnson's persuasive speech.

Where to Start...

For background information, start in Google but DON'T stay there.  Searching in Google Scholar you may get full text articles but sometimes it requires a subscription.   Google Scholar only searches a fraction of the published scholarly literature. 


The library database, Credo Reference Online, will search several of our databases and catalog simultaneously. Do not use Credo Reference for in-depth research.  Credo is our academic Google!      






Library Databases

The Persuasive speech provides the audience with an overview or introduction to a topic or issue in an attempt to persuade the audience to believe a certain way, or take a specific action. The resources listed below will assist the researcher in gathering the resources necessary to draft the persuasive speech:

Academic Search Complete The world's largest scholarly, multi-discipline, full-text database designed specifically for academic institutions. Contains full text for more than 4,600 peer-reviewed publications, in nearly all academic areas of study.


CQ Researcher Published 44 times a year, the single-themed CQ Researcher report offers in-depth, non-biased coverage of political and social issues, with regular reports on topics in health, international affairs, education, the environment, technology and the U.S. economy. The CQ Researcher can be read in its entirety or by section, which includes a background and chronology; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources.

Global Issues in Context ties together sources to present a rich analysis of issues - social, political, military, economic, environmental, science related, health related, cultural - and headlines in world hot spots. Global Issues in Context focuses on broad issues, such as war, genocide, terrorism, human rights, poverty, famine, globalization, world trade, nuclear proliferation, and global warming, as well as more specific events and topics in the news that are related to these broader issues.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context 

Research Process


Have problems with time management?

Plan and Stay on Task


You have a plan, so what's next?

The Research Process.





Evaluating the Resources that You Find

When you encounter any kind of source, consider:

  1. Authority - Who is the author? What is their point of view? 
  2. Purpose - Why was the source created? Who is the intended audience?
  3. Publication & format - Where was it published? In what medium?
  4. Relevance - How is it relevant to your research? What is its scope?
  5. Date of publication - When was it written? Has it been updated?
  6. Documentation - Did they cite their sources? Who did they cite?


Can't find what you need?

Remember that a topic may be difficult to research if it is too: locally confined, recent or too broad

  • locally confined - Topics this specific may only be covered in local newspapers and not in scholarly articles.

Example: What sources of pollution affect the City of Norfolk water supply?

If the question is about something local, you do have the option below:

  • Check the local newspaper, local websites (especially newspaper and municipal websites, as well as and for socializing and events).
  • recent - If a topic is too recent, books or journal articles may not be available, but newspaper or magazine articles may. Also, websites related to the topic may or may not be available.
  • broadly interdisciplinary - You could be overwhelmed with superficial information.

Example: How can the environment contribute to the culture, politics and society of the Western United States?