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Communications: ENGL 120: Semester Project

Resources to complete the ENGL 120 project.

Step One: Make Some Choices

Movie Poster for Freaky Friday from IMDB (2003) - get started with this assignment, you will need to choose a film and three interpersonal communication concepts that you can relate to your film. Consult your textbook or the Communications Concept Grid to find appropriate concepts, which may include self concept, culture, listening, nonverbal communication, or verbal communication.

For example, one concept I might choose for Freaky Friday (2003) is kinesics, which is a study of nonverbal body movements, gestures, and facial expressions. As you can see in the movie poster, the posture and facial expressions of the mother and daughter communicate who is trapped in which body.

Remember - you are looking for articles about the CONCEPT, not about the film. It's up to you to connect the information about your concepts to the film you have chosen. In this example, I'd want to look for an article about kinesics and then use the information from that article to help me make my argument that the posture and facial expressions of the characters are communicating who each person really is. The article itself will have nothing to do with Freaky Friday.



Using the Dwight Marvin Library

Newspapers / Magazines / Academic Articles

The Newspapers / Magazines / Academic Journals [5:16] video explains the difference between article types and provides examples.

Academic Journal Articles

Academic Journal Articles: By Professionals For Professionals

Academic Journal TitleScreen shot of academic articleScreen Shot of References Page

Academic journal articles are often identified by:

- Multiple authors - Academic affiliation of the authors (school they work for) - Abstract included (short summary of the article)
- Black and white - Few or no advertisements - Charts and graphs
- Extensive references/works cited - Lots of jargon or discipline specific language - Meant for professionals

Confused? 1.5 minute YouTube video from the University of Cincinnati about how to identify an academic article.

This chart will also help you figure out whether you are looking at a magazine article or an academic journal article.

Some (but not all) academic articles undergo a peer-review process. This means that before an article is published, a panel of experts in the field review the article and ensure it has the highest quality.

Find an Academic (Peer Reviewed) Journal Article



Start on the Research Databases & Online Resources page and choose PsycARTICLES. For this paper, the Psychology databases work best, but you may also expand your search to include other database if you are having trouble finding articles.

PsycARTICLES choose databases

Click on the "Choose Databases" link to add Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection to your search. Now you're saving some time by searching two databases at once! If you are having trouble finding articles, you can try adding in some of our other databases to your search as well, including Academic Search Complete, Humanities Source, ERIC, or Social Sciences Full Text.

PsycARTICLES search screen

Set up your search to pull up what you need.

  • Since you are looking for an academic journal meant for professionals, search for the technical term. That's what a professional would use when discussing the concept. If you get too many articles, try using the "Select A Field" menu to only search in specific fields, like Title, for your term.
  • Limit your search to FULL TEXT by checking the box. Now you'll be able to read all of the articles that come up!
  • Limit your search by YEAR OR PUBLICATION or PUBLISHED DATE to retrieve articles that are published in the time frame specified by your instructor.
  • Limit your search to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals. Now you know all results will be Academic/Professional articles.

Too many articles returned? Try adding in another search term. For Freaky Friday, I might want to add words like mother or child.

Trouble searching? Try the EBSCO video tutorials for help setting up a search or reading an article. Or ask a librarian for help.

Finding Your Other Sources


What you need:

  • Additional Academic Articles 
  • Magazine Articles (hint: magazine articles are meant for the general public and would use more general terms - like "nonverbal communication" or "body language," instead of kinesics).

How to find them:


screen shot of EBSCO search results with date and source type highlighted


Website Evaluation

When you visit websites (as opposed to library databases), you will be responsible for evaluating the information you find and determining whether or not the information is credible. Try using the CRAP Test to look at the currency (date published), reliability (balanced? biased?), authority (why is the author qualified to write about this?), and purpose (are they selling you something? .org/.edu or .com?).

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

Citing Sources - APA

Cite Your Sources: APA Format
Click on the APA tab for guidelines, in-text citation help, and sample citations.

YouTube: APA Style 7th Edition - Student Paper Formatting
Video with instructions for setting up your paper in APA format

OWL APA Formatting and Style Guide
Excellent writing and style guidance from Purdue University