Skip to Main Content

University Library

Communications and Media Studies

Getting Started with Research

Getting started on a research assignment can feel overwhelming. This guide will help you find the information you need! And don't forget: you can always reach out to a librarian to get help. You can email the Communications and Media Studies Librarian or make an appointment using the links in the left-hand sidebar. 

The first thing you should do when starting a new assignment is to make sure you understand your instructor's requirements. Read the assignment carefully and identify what you are being asked to do. The kind of research assignment you're doing will help you to understand the kind of information you might need. 

There are a lot of different kinds of sources in the library, and finding the right one will depend on what you already know and what you need to know. 

  • If you are researching a topic that's new to you or that you don't know much about yet, you may want to look at some reference sources or find a good book that will give you background information on your subject. The Background Information page will point you in the right direction. 
  • If you want to know what other researchers are saying about your topic, you will probably want to look for books and peer-reviewed articles. The Finding Research Articles page will get you started and help you understand how these sources can inform your topic. 
  • If you need statistics or data to help back up your argument, check out the Statistics and Data page. 
  • Do you need to find news articles and journalistic sources? Check out the Newspapers and Magazines page. 

Your assignment and research question will determine what kind of information you should look for. If you're not sure, don't hesitate to get in touch with a librarian to help you out.