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CMJ 483: Capstone Seminar in Mass Communication

If you need assistance with your research, please don't hesitate to contact your subject librarian, Jen Bonnet.


Students will conduct research on a particular mass communication issue, and will review how the issue is covered in the popular press, professional publications, and scholarly journals. After compiling a bibliography of sources, students will describe “the best of what we know” as found in scholarly sources (i.e., refereed journal articles).

Relevant Online Resources

Use the following resources to find information on your topic(s).

Books - background of topic, and often research on topic

  • URSUS - UMaine's library catalog of electronic and print books as well as journals, videos, maps, and more
  • WorldCat - catalog of library collections across the U.S. and around the world

Theses and Dissertations - research on topic

  • Proquest Dissertations & Theses -indexing & authors' abstracts for 90% of doctoral dissertations and some masters theses accepted each year in the United States and Canada, plus thousands more from Great Britain and Ireland, and selected abstracts form other universities around the world .
  • Electronic Theses and Dissertations - works by academic scholars at UMaine prior to 2012
  • Digital Commons - works by academic scholars at UMaine after 2012

Journal Articles - research on topic

  • Academic Search Complete - scholarly, multi-disciplinary, full-text database
  • Communication and Mass Media Complete - research and reference resource with coverage of more than 500 journals in the communication and mass media fields
  • CQ Researcher - in-depth coverage of health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy; reports are published weekly in print and online 44 times a year by CQ Press, a division of Congressional Quarterly Inc; each report is researched and written by a seasoned journalist
  • Film & Television Literature Index - film & television theory, preservation & restoration, writing, production, cinematography, technical aspects, and reviews
  • Google Scholar - full-text library-licensed resources
  • OneSearch - interdisciplinary search engine that searches the library catalog + a range of journals and online databases; you may limit your search to scholarly articles and to Fogler resources
  • PsycInfo - index to the professional and academic literature in psychology and related disciplines
  • Sociological Abstracts - international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences

Peer Review

What are scholarly, peer-reviewed articles?
  • Usually published in scholarly journals
  • Well-researched original articles on specialized topics written by scholars
  • Author affiliation and contact details are provided
  • There is an abstract at the beginning of peer-reviewed articles
  • Contain in-text citations and a list of references at the end
  • May include charts tables, graphs, and other statistical data
  • Use subject-specific language that include technical terms unique to the field
  • Presented in sections such as Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Results, Discussion, Conclusion
  • Subjected to intense critiques by a team of subject specialists who are peers of the author(s)
Not sure if the journal article you've found is peer-reviewed? You can find the journal on the free web and see if it has an editorial board or if there's an explicit mention of peer review for submissions. Communication Studies is an example.

Example popular article about violent video games and children
Example scholarly article about violent video games and children
Scholarly journals vs popular/trade magazines

Popular Press

Citing your Sources

Using Fogler Library

Where to go for Assistance

Created by: Jen Bonnet | Revised: 01/28/2014
5729 Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5729
Phone: 207-581-1661 | Fax: 207-581-1653
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The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469