Skip to main content

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Communication 111/112

A guide for library resources and research information for students in Communication 111 and 112.

Get Started Finding a Current Topic or Issue

Use the UGL's Subject Research Guides to find an A-Z list of current and popular research topics. The guide for each topic includes links to recommended databases and background information sources, among other things.

CQ Researcher can be a good starting point for exploring topics. Enter your topic idea into the search box. 

Use the infographics below to learn more about other places to find topic ideas as well as an explanation of what kind of sources you can expect to find on a topic depending on how recent it is. 

Where to Find a Current Topic or Issue: INFOGRAPHIC

Where to Find a Topic (Accessible View)

News Sources

Databases & Background Information

Professional Sources

Find Background Information

The library subscribes to the online editions of hundreds of encyclopedias. These provide you articles with reliable background information about your topic, written by experts, and include lists of additional resources.  A class appropriate alternative to Wikipedia!

How to Find Editorials

An editorial is a written piece most often found in newspapers and magazines that typically addresses the opinion or viewpoint of senior editorial staff on a current or controversial issue.

Find Editorials: INFOGRAPHIC

Find Editorials (Accessible View)

Why use editorials?

Editorials can provide you with specific opinions or viewpoints on a given issue. As a rule, editorials focus on current, controversial topics.

Find editorials in databases:
  • Newspaper Databases often allow you to limit your results by "Editorials" as the document type.

  • Academic Search Ultimate allows you to limit results. In the left hand side of the results list, select “Editorials” as the document type. To view individual editorials, click the HTML or PDF Full Text, or Discover links.

  • Nexis Uni offers a "News" section on the left hand side of the page. 

  • Undergraduate Library has a great selection of general magazines where you can find editorials. Titles are shelved alphabetically in the periodicals section.

General Search Tips
  • Keep in mind the dates when your topic was of particular interest.

  • You are most likely to get the best results in your search for topics of national, rather than local or regional, interest.

  • Avoid using terms "pro" and "con" in your search, unless the issue frequently uses pro- or con- to identify supporters of the position (i.e. pro-life, pro-choice).

  • Read the abstracts of the editorials, when available, as these will provide you with a brief summary of the writer's viewpoint.