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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.

Handout: Select The Best Information Source

Concept maps

How to use a concept map

How to complete a concept map:

Step 1: Write the topic for your paper in the box at the top.
Circle or underline the keywords (main ideas) for your topic. These can be single words or phrases and are usually nouns.
Step 2: Write each of your keywords in separate box. For each of your keywords, add alternative keywords in the box. Think synonyms!
Step 3: Add the subject areas related to your topic. Consider which professions would be most interested in writing about your topic.
Step 4: Use the UGL's Find Articles Guide to identify potential databases to search for articles about your topic.

In-class source evaluation

The following sources can all be found searching for information on this topic:

The establishment of gun control laws that limit access to assault weapons is a controversial issue.

Using the questions below as a guide, take 2 MINUTES to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the source below.

Does this source make a contribution to the conversation about the controversy? Why or why not?
What aspects of this source should/would influence your decision to use this in your research?



  • Source publisher: purpose, mission
  • Source author: credentials, relationship to topic
  • Sources referenced: citations, links to credible sources