Skip to Main Content

Speech Assignment Research Guide

A guide to finding sources for your speech.

Why Articles?

When exploring topics, it is recommended to use articles from publications to find current research. While books are excellent for background and reference information, they are not published as frequently as articles. When searching for articles on a current topic, your date range should fall between three to five years, as data and statistics can become dated very quickly. Articles can be found by using the library databases that are appropriate for your topic.

What is a database?

A database is a searchable collection of information. In library research, a database is where you can find sources such as journal, newspaper, and magazine articles. Some databases offer sources on various subject areas while others are specific to a discipline or subject area.

Online Research Databases

The following online sources are great tools to begin your research. They are accessible from any computer/mobile device with Internet access, and also off-campus using your BC student ID and MMDD of your birth date. Access additional online sources here.

Magazines, Newspapers, Trade Journals & Academic Journals




Magazines are written for the general public. They feature lots of pictures and advertisements. The authors of the articles are often staff writers. The content includes information on current events, entertainment and special features.


Information in newspapers is targeted toward the general public. Newspapers usually feature black and white print and photographs. The articles are written by journalists and staff writers. The articles discuss news events and special features.

Trade Journal

Trade journals contain information for professionals within a specific industry. Usually staff writers or industry professionals write the articles. They feature color photographs and industry specific advertisements. The articles discuss news and special features related to a specific industry.

Academic Journal

Researchers and scholars are the main audience for academic journals. They do not feature pictures or advertisements. Research articles make-up the content. They are written by researchers/scholars of a particular profession or discipline.