Journalism Research Paper Resources for Communications Majors
If you are enrolled as a journalism, media studies, or communication major at a historically black college or university, these resources will help you write a college-level journalism research paper!
Citation Manuals & Style Guides
Like many college students, you will use multiple citation styles over the course of your academic career. APA (American Psychological Association) Style is the most popular citation style in the social sciences; however, you will probably use MLA (Modern Language Association) Style when you take classes in the humanities and physical sciences. You can also use AP (Associated Press) Style when you work on news articles or other reporting assignments as part of your degree program. All of these organizations have citation manuals that can help you format your paper correctly, but those books can be expensive. The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University has published multiple citation style guides on its website, which makes it a great resource for students who need to write their own journalism research papers.
You need primary and secondary sources to write a research paper, and academic databases contain thousands of dissertations, journal articles, newspaper articles, interviews, and books that you can use in your own work. If you are enrolled at an HBCU in the United States, your library should have access to paid databases that you can use as an undergraduate or graduate student. Other databases, like Questia and Google Scholar, are free resources that you can take advantage of at any time.
The Writing Process
Your professor will give you instructions that will help you write your research paper (such the citation style and sources that they would like you to use), but that may not be enough if you have never worked on a research paper before. Online resources like the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University (which is also known as the Purdue OWL), the University of Maryland University College – Online Guide to Writing and Research, and research method guides from other established universities are perfect for undergraduate and graduate students of all skill levels.
Purdue OWL – Writing A Research Paper
The University of Maryland University College – Online Guide to Writing and Research
Grand Canyon University – Qualitative Research Methods
Udemy – Quantitative Research Methods
If you are a graduate student, you should join an association to network, grow, and establish yourself as an academic in your field. The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), National Communication Association (NCA) are perfect for journalism students who are interested in presenting their work at academic conferences or publishing their research papers. SPJ also has the Student Research Guide on their website, where journalism students can submit their research questions to a team of industry experts.
You shouldn’t rely solely on online resources! Your HBCU has plenty of on-campus resources that will help you write your research paper.
Your library will have access to paid databases, books, archives, and interlibrary loans. Your HBCU should also have a writing center that can help you research, write, and edit an academic paper.
They can give you advice about the writing process, and they can help you find opportunities to present at regional, national, and international conferences.
Most schools offer their own undergraduate and graduate research grants, and they have a list of outside grants that you can apply to for additional funds.
Your School’s Institutional Review Board (IRB)
If you are planning to do research that involves human subjects (such as an experiment or an observational study), you will have to get approval from your school’s IRB. The IRB was established to protect people who participate in academic studies, and every college or university that accepts federal funds for financial aid is required to have its own research ethics committee.