Research Guide: Communication Theory

| Citing Sources | Reference Books | CONSULS Catalog | Online Databases | Locating Periodicals | Interlibrary Loan | Questions? |

Citing Sources to Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a form of cheating which may lower the grade you receive on your assignment. You must cite the source of any direct quotation and of any facts or ideas you obtained from another source. For more information about how to avoid plagiarism, please watch this brief video from Bainbridge College in YouTube: Plagiarism: How to Avoid It (

For tips on citation format, please see Diana Hacker's Research and Documentation Online ( or the APA Formatting and Style Guide courtesy of OWL: Purdue Online Writing Lab (

Reference Books for Background Information

Reference books are shelved by Library of Congress call number in the reference stacks on the first floor of the Ruth Haas Library. They may not be checked out, but photocopiers are available for student use on the first and third floors of the Haas Library.

General Reference on Communication

*Encyclopedia of Communication Theory. 2 volumes.Ref P 87.5.E496 2009
Encyclopedia of Children, Adolescents, and the Media. 2 volumes.Ref HQ 784.M3.E53 2007
Encyclopedia of Communication and Information. 3 volumes.Ref P 87.5.E53 2001
Encyclopedia of Gender in MediaRef P 96.S5.E53 2012
Encyclopedia of International Media and Communications. 4 volumes.Ref P 87.5.E535 2003
Encyclopedia of Political Communication. 2 volumes.Ref JA 85.E64 2008
Encyclopedia of Social Movement MediaRef P 96.A44.E53 2011
Encyclopedic Dictionary of Semiotics, Media, and CommunicationsRef P 87.5.D36 2000
Hargrave's Communications DictionaryYoung Library: Ref TK 5102.H37 2001
Historical Dictionary of Political Communication in the United StatesRef JA 85.2.U6.H57 1999
International Encyclopedia of Communication. 12 volumes.Ref P 87.5.I58 2008
Webster's New World Dictionary of Media and CommunicationsRef P 87.5.W45 1990

Related Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Cambridge Encyclopedia of LanguageRef P 29.C64 1987
Censorship: A World Encyclopedia. 3 volumes.Ref Z657.C393 2001
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science. Fourth edition. 4 volumes.Ref BF 31.E52 2010
Encyclopedia of Censorship. Revised edition.Ref Z 657.G73 2005
Encyclopedia of Human Behavior. 4 volumes.Ref BF 31.D5 1994
Encyclopedia of Human Development. 3 volumes.Ref HM 626.E53 2006
Encyclopedia of Human Emotions. 2 volumes.Ref BF 531.E55 1999
Encyclopedia of Journalism. 6 volumes.Ref PN 4728.E48 2009
Encyclopedia of Perception. 2 volumes.Ref BF 311.E566 2010
Encyclopedia of Psychology. 8 volumes.Ref BF 31.E52 2000
Encyclopedia of SemioticsRef P 99.E64 1998
Encyclopedia of Social Networks. 2 volumes.Ref HM 741.E53 2011
Encyclopedia of Social Psychology. 2 volumes.Ref HM 1007.E52 2007
Encyclopedia of Social Work. 20th edition. 4 volumes.Ref HV 12.E53 2008
Encyclopedia of Sociology. Second edition. 5 volumes.Ref HM 17.E5 2000
Encyclopedia of Television. Second edition. 4 volumes.Ref PN 1992.18.E53 2004
Encyclopedic Dictionary of Semiotics, Media, and CommunicationsRef P 87.5.D36 2000
International Encyclopedia of Linguistics. Second edition. 4 volumes.Ref P 29.I58 2003
Propaganda and Mass Persuasion: A Historical Encyclopedia, 1500 to the PresentRef HN 1231.C85 2003

Handbooks & Research Methods

Body Image: A Handbook of Theory, Research and Clinical PracticeRef BF 697.5.B63.B668 2002
Encyclopedia of Research Design. 3 volumes.Ref HA 29.E525 2010
Handbook of International and Intercultural Communication. Second edition.Ref P 94.6.H36 2002
Handbook of Interpersonal Communication. Third edition.Ref BF 637.C45.H287 2002
The SAGE Encyclopedia of Social Research Methods. 2 volumes.Ref H 62.S34 2004
The Sage Handbook of Nonverbal CommunicationRef BF 637.N66.S24 2006
Tests: A Comprehensive Reference. Third edition.Ref BF 176.T345 2008
Violence and the Media: A Reference HandbookRef P 96.V5.N48 1996
Women and Mass CommunicationsRef P 94.5.W65.L45 1991

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CONSULS Online Catalog for Books and Media

CONSULS catalog workstations are located in the Reference Area on the first floor, and on each of the other floors of the Haas Library. You may logon to CONSULS via the WCSU Libraries Homepage at or directly at For more detailed instructions on searching, please see the yellow CONSULS flyer on the display rack on the first floor.

Please Note: CONSULS ignores upper and lower case, and you may omit punctuation, except the hyphen which must be replaced by a space.


Select Title at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type as much of the title as you remember in correct word order. In CONSULS, you may omit "a," "an," or "the" at the beginning of a title.

Example: Mass Communication Theory: Foundations, Ferment, and Future (press RETURN or ENTER)
Or just: mass communication theory founda (press ENTER)


Select Author at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type the person's name last-name-first. Correct spelling is important.

Example: baran stanley j (press ENTER)
Or just: baran stan (press ENTER)

To limitsearch results to items owned by WCSU, click on Limit/Sort and then select WCSU under "Where Item Is Located."


Select Subject at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type the person's name last-name-first. Correct spelling is important. To limit results to items owned by WCSU, use Limit/Sort.

Example: mcluhan marshall (press ENTER)
Or just: mcluhan m (press ENTER)


Select Subject at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type the Library of Congress subject heading which best describes your topic. Correct spelling and word order are important. The complete list of Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) is published in a set of big red books available in the Reference Area on the first floor of the Haas Library.

Type: Communication--Social aspects (press ENTER)
Or just: communication soc (press ENTER)

The following Library of Congress subject headings are pertinent to communication:

Communication (many subdivisions)
Communication--Psychological aspects
Communication--Sex differences
Communication--Social aspects
Communication--United States


Select Keyword(s) at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type the words which best describe your topic, in any order.

Example: communication and social exchange theory press ENTER
Broader: communicat* and (social exchange theory or rational choice theory) press ENTER
Narrower: interpersonal communication and (social exchange or rational choice) and theory press ENTER

Example: expectancy violations theory and communication press ENTER
Broader: (expectancy violations theory or EVT) and communicat* press ENTER
Narrower: expectancy violations theory and intercultural communication press ENTER

Use the * (asterisk) as a truncation symbol to retrieve variant forms of a word root. Use the Boolean OR to expand your search by including synonyms and related terms. When using two different Boolean commands in the same search statement ("and" and "or" in the preceding examples) you must include parentheses to indicate which command is to be performed first.


If the item you need is owned by one of the other CSU Libraries (CCSU, SCSU, or ECSU) but not by WCSU, or if WCSU's copy is checked out, you may order the item electronically via Inter-Campus Loan by clicking on Request at the full record display in CONSULS. Then select "WCSU" and type your WestConn network username and password. Be sure to specify a pickup location (Haas or Young Library) before initiating your request.

There is a limit of ten (10) Inter-Campus Loan requests per person. Videos are available via Inter-Campus Loan. Please allow 3-4 working days for delivery to the Haas Circulation Desk. Items borrowed via Inter-Campus Loan may be renewed if no one else has placed a HOLD on the item.

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Online Databases for Finding Periodical Articles

Communication & Mass Media Complete (CMMC) in EBSCOhost
Coverage: Issue number one to present for some publications.
Location: Listed under Articles & Databases: A-Z on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Full-text of over 200 journals in communication, media, and related fields plus citation coverage for additional sources.
PsychINFO in EBSCOhost
Coverage: 1967 - present.
Location: Listed under Articles & Databases: Most Popular on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Indexes journal articles and books in psychology and related fields. Published by the American Psychological Association.
Business Source Premier (BSP) in EBSCOhost
Coverage: As early as 1922 for more than 350 top scholarly journals.
Location: Listed under Articles & Databases: Most Popular on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Full-text of more than 8,300 periodicals in business and related subjects, such as advertising and marketing, including over 1,100 scholarly business journals.
Education Research Complete in EBSCOhost
Coverage: Full-text coverage varies by journal.
Location: Listed under Articles & Databases: A-Z on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Indexing and abstracting for over 2,100 scholarly journals in education, as well as 1,200+ journals and 500+ books and monographs in full-text. Includes an online thesaurus of indexing terms.
MedLine in EBSCOhost
Coverage: 1966 - present.
Location: Listed under Articles & Databases: A-Z on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Indexing and abstracting of over 4,800 biomedical journals, including publications in medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and health care. This database is a product of the National Library of Medicine (NLM).
Coverage: Issue number one to within 5-6 years of present.
Location: Under Articles & Databases: Most Popular on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Full-text backfiles of over 500 core scholarly journals in 50+ disciplines, NOT including communication. Use this database only for interdisciplinary topics.
WorldCat via OCLC FirstSearch
Location: Select OCLC FirstSearch under Articles & Databases: A-Z on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Indexes 100+ million books, manuscripts, theses, and non-print materials in all fields. If the item is not owned by WCSU, you may use Interlibrary Loan.

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Locating Periodicals in the Haas Library

To find out if WCSU subscribes to a specific periodical in print or online:

1. Select Journal Title at the CONSULS main menu, then type the name of the periodical (example: communication monographs) and press ENTER. If a title list appears on the screen, select the desired title, then look inside the box to find WCSU holdings. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to see if WCSU owns backfiles on microfilm or microfiche.

2. To find out if a given periodical is available in full-text in one or more of WCSU's online databases, use the A-to-Z Journal Title Locator available under Articles & Databases on the WCSU Libraries Homepage (

How to Use Interlibrary Loan

If the CSU Libraries do not own the book you need, or if WCSU does not subscribe to the periodical you need, you may request delivery of the item via Interlibrary Loan using the online ILLiad system available at:

There is a limit of 5 Interlibrary Loan requests per person per day. Videos are not available via Interlibrary Loan. Under most circumstances, Interlibrary Loan is a free service, but please allow at least ten working days for delivery. You will be notified as soon as the material arrives. Faster document delivery service is available for a reasonable fee. Please see the librarian at the Reference Desk or call the Interlibrary Loan Desk at (203) 837-9114 for more information.

Do You Have a Question?

The Reference Desk on the first floor of the Haas Library is staffed by a professional librarian who is trained to assist in your research, or you may contact Joan Reitz, Instruction Librarian, at 837-8308 or My office is located in Room 402 on the fourth floor of the Haas Library (near the glass elevator).

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Please send comments to Joan Reitz, HaaS Instruction Librarian, Western Connecticut State University.
Last updated on January 23, 2014.