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CMJ 202: Communication Theory

Welcome to your CMJ 202 research guide! I'm Jen Bonnet, your CMJ librarian. 

Dr. Lily Herakova and I have created this resource to serve as a companion to your course. Throughout this guide, you'll find suggestions for successfully completing assignments, as well as tips and strategies for ways to research topics of interest.

Want help? Don't hesitate to email me at jenbonnet@maine.edu.


Below are some tips for getting started in this course.

1. Check out A First Look at Communication Theory, which provides background information on communication theories and their development.

2. Watch the National Communication Association's Concepts in Communication video series to get a good grounding in hot topics in the field of Communication Studies.

3. For your general interest, see these TED playlists on communication and on listening.

4. You will be reading several chapters from Casing Communication Theory. Find a copy on reserve at the Fogler Library main Circulation desk! You can check out books on reserve for up to four hours at a time.


Here are some places to get started with your research.

First, you can use the Fogler database menu to identify online databases where you might find research that addresses your theory. Several databases that are a good place to find relevant articles are:

Use the following online catalogs to find books (or videos, microforms, etc.) on your topic:

  • URSUS
    Begin with URSUS, the University of Maine System library catalog, that also includes holdings from the Bangor Public Library, Maine State Library, Maine State Archives, and Maine State Law & Legislative Reference Library.
  • MaineCat
    If you want to broaden your search beyond the University of Maine system, you can search the Maine statewide catalog.
  • WorldCat
    Want to see what else has been written on your topic? WorldCat is a directory of books held in libraries across the country and in many parts of the world.

Strategically navigate Google to find relevant information on your topic!

There are many ways to hack Google, in order to conduct more complex searches and focus your results. In the above example:

  • intitle: refers to any terms you want to ensure are in the title of the web page itself (in this case, that would be "climate change")
  • the quotation marks around climate change hold those words together so that Google searches for that exact phrase (rather than a search that returns the word climate or the word change)
  • ~coast tells the search that you want terms related to the word right after the tilde (~); for coast, this might include terms like coastal, coastline, waterfront, shoreline, and seaside
  • The minus sign in front of Alaska tells the search to exclude Alaska-related terms from your results 
  • site:.gov tells Google that you only want results from government websites; you can also use specific sites after site:, such as site:bangordailynews.com or site:nytimes.com
  • The date limiter can be found in the Tools section of your Google search (the Tools section is linked directly below and to the right of the search bar)

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