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SCOM1500 (Harned) - Public Speaking: Start Your Research Project!

In support of assignments in Dr. Harned's Intro to Public Speaking classes.


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In the Library

Your Panther Card (or picture ID) is required to check out books and other materials. It can also be used for printing and copying with the $7.50 technology fee each semester or other funds you have added.


The LibraryID number on your Panther Card and a LIBRARY SECURITY PIN are needed to request books or look at your library account online. See below for more info on the PIN.

PINs and Passwords

Your library PIN is a five digit number that was mailed to your GSU email when you started classes here, but might have ended up in your junk mail.  Check there first or follow the directions on the "My Account" page to have it resent.

The GALILEO password changes every semester.
The easiest way to get into GALILEO is to log into iCollege, then click on the GALILEO link in the top banner or start your search with the Discover search tool on the iCollege homepage. If you hover your cursor over the GALILEO link rather than click and look at the bottom ot the page, you'll see the current password.


Find a Topic

Choosing a topic is the first step in beginning your research project.

If your class allows it, try choosing a research topic that interests you!  Your experience researching and writing your paper will more enjoyable.

If you cannot decide on a topic, look over a list of issues in Opposing Viewpoints for ideas. Watch this video to find out how!

For SCRIPT of this video CLICK HERE.

Plan a Search Strategy!

Developing a search strategy becomes easier each time you do it.

Start by thinking of keywords that relate to your topic. For example, if your topic is recycling, write down common phrases or buzzwords associated with recycling, such as environment or being green.  This list will grow as you search, because you'll see additional words related to your topic appearing in search results.  If you can't think of any addtional words to go with your topic, try searching in GIL-Find, the library catalog.  At the top of the page, you will see Suggested Topics....Within your search to help you find additional search terms. Clicking on More... reveals additional search terms! Try it for your topic!

Be sure you allow enough time for research.  Academic research isn't like a quick search on Google.  It may take you just as long to research as it does to write your paper.

 Consider the types of resources appropriate for your assignment.

  • Books and ebooks can give you an overview or in-depth information. They take some time to publish, so may not be the best source for very current topics.  Keep in mind that you may be able to use a single chapter or a few pages; you may not need to read the whole book to get the information you need.
  • Journals and magazines can be more current than books, and usually contain more focused information
  • Newspapers have short articles on current issues and can be great sources for a specific area.
  • Web sites can be up-to-the-minute current or can contain dated and unreliable information.

Reference and Instruction Librarian

Patricia Ziebart
Dunwoody Branch, LRC2250

Questions? Ask a Librarian!

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