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COMM 104/105 - Faina - Spring 2023: Finding Sources


The majority of the sources for your assignments can be found by using "OneSearch," the big search bar at the top of the LAVC Library homepage.

For assistance with finding articles with OneSearch, please refer to our Finding Articles guide.

After using OneSearch, you may want to continue your research in some of the databases in our A - Z list. Specific databases that will be particularly helpful for your assignment (in addition to OneSearch) are linked and described in the other boxes on this page.

Background Research

In many classes, Wikipedia is not allowed as a source. Wikipedia is often not considered a credible source for college-level research, because we don't know anything about the authors or their qualifications. But what if you need a source for background information, or an overview of a topic?

The Library has many encyclopedias that you CAN use for college (unless your professor, or your assignment, says, "no encyclopedias"). Some of them are books in the Library building, and some are online on the Library website. Like Wikipedia (which is a type of encyclopedia), you do not have to be an expert to understand the language, and the information is organized in a way that's easy to read quickly. There are usually links or citations to find more information about that subject. 


More Articles

Why would you use an individual database rather than OneSearch? Some databases have special search features not available in OneSearch, and some databases have sources that wouldn't be included in OneSearch search results.

Articles on Controversial Topics

Some Library databases are especially good for researching controversial topics and reading about both sides of an issue (for in-depth help on using these databases, please refer to our Guides on Opposing Viewpoints in Context and CQ Researcher):


In addition to articles and books, the Library also offers you access to streaming academic videos that you can use as sources for your assignments:


  • Sometimes, these databases can also provide you with video examples of debates on your topic. Try the search: [your topic] debate in order to find and watch examples of real debates on your topic, which can be an effective way to prepare for your own class debates.
  • [For Films on Demand] Click on the tags beneath videos to find similar content: if you scroll down below a video and its description, you'll find that it's been labeled with descriptive "tags" (see example, below). If you click on any of these tags, you'll be taken to a list of videos that have been marked with that same tag. This is a great way to quickly find more videos (and debates!) on the same topic you're researching.

Currently, Films on Demand has over 11,000 videos tagged with the term debate.

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