Skip to main content

Ohio University

Communication Studies

Start Your Research with Background Information

Why start with background research?

If you have ever looked at a Wikipedia page, you know the value of a good overview of a topic you need to research.

Wikipedia has its uses, but there are also some great library resources that can help you get started with a COMS research project. A good background source will:

  1. Give you an overview of the topic and the sub-topics that are often up for debate
  2. Define important terms (events, people, definitions) that you'll need to know to understand the topic. These terms usually make good words with which to search for further resources.
  3. Suggest further readings to help you go forward with your research.

Online reference books for background research:

Check these online books for background information on your communication or media-related topic.

Reference databases for background information

The following tools provide access to reference resources related to communication. These can also be useful for finding background information on your topic.