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English Composition 2089: Researching Discourse

This guide provides resources for researching discourse communities and the documents, videos, reports, images and other materials they create.

What Types of Documents Do Communities Produce?

A discourse community uses one or more genres or types of texts or visuals to communicate its aim.

Types of sources produced by the community

What to look for

How to find


Blogs Viewpoints, opinions Use Alltop or Blog Search Engine. Most blogs allow you to search content and browse by date.


Interviews, talk shows

Search Nexis Uni. On the results screen under "Narrow by" select "Publication types" -- "News transcripts" and/or "Audio."

Search websites of TV and radio networks.


Creative works Texts (print and online), translations, scores, performances, images   and media, design work, cartoons, etc. Search the UC library catalog.  
Publications in popular press

Interviews, expert analysis or opinion

Search a database like Summon or  Academic Search Complete and limit results to magazines or newspapers. Search for “interview*”; look for information about the expert   featured, interviewed or sharing his opinion in the article or footnote.

Publications in scholarly   journals

Articles reporting original research or experience

Search a database like  Summon, Academic Search Complete or a more   specialized one (in ASC click “Choose databases”).

Journals search box on the library website or e-journals advanced search: search or browse journals related to your discipline, e.g. design.

Search Google Scholar.

May limit your search to scholarly/academic/peer-reviewed articles.

Use terms like research, study,   survey, etc.

Publications in trade   journals/magazines

Interviews, articles sharing tips of the trade and other professional content.


Some databases allow to limit to trade journals/magazines.

Presentations   at conferences, symposia, etc.                               

A mix of the previous two.

Search Google or Google Scholar.

For published versions search databases or the library catalog.

Use terms like proceedings,   conference*, paper*

Websites, including those of professional   associations and organizations

 - Materials for professional development: publications, conferences, blogs   and/or listservs (may be for members only)

- Discussion boards

- Advocacy and policy

- Community resources

 Do a Google search or use one of the following online directories:

Associations on the Net 
Associations Unlimited (UC only).

Sites are typically searchable or have an index/map.

Example: types of communication produced by pediatricians

Professional website:  American Academy of Pediatrics (browse or search the site for materials intended for various audiences)

Selected journals: Current problems in pediatric and adolescent health care, Journal of pediatric health care

Example of a scholarly article: Samir Dasgupta, et al. "A Comparative Study Of The Management Decisions By IMNCI Algorithm And By Pediatricians Of A Teaching Hospital For The Children Between 2 Months To 5 Years." Indian Journal Of Community Medicine, vol. 37, no.3, 2012, pp.174-179. Directory of Open Access Journals, doi:10.4103/0970-0218.99923. Accessed 4 Aug. 2017.

Example of an article in a trade magazine: Rowden-Racette, Kellie. "'I'm in my dream job': audiologist reflects on pediatric practice." ASHA Leader, vol. 15, no.7, 2010, p.24. Expanded Academic ASAP, Accessed 4 Aug. 2017.

Example of a broadcast transcript: “Pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp gives tips for traveling with toddlers.” Parenting Today. NBC, June 18, 2012. Nexis Uni. Accessed 4 Aug. 2017.

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