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Journalism & Writing Arts: Writing Tips

This guide, a complement to the Composition I & II research guide, provides resources for journalism and writing arts students from Campbell Library.

Before You Start: Evaluation of Internet Sources

Internet sources can vary in quality and usefulness as information for scholary research.  This is true of the souces listed on this page.  If you need to use scholarly or peer-reviewed sources, look at the evaluation criteria from the Cornell University Libraries at the link below.  Cornell provides five simple criteria that can help solve the puzzle of whether the information found on the web is credible.

But if you really want more detailed ways of assessing a website's credibility, check out the University of California-Berkeley page.

American Rhetoric

This website is a gateway to examples of various kinds of speeches and a discussion of public speaking.

APA Style (American Psychological Association)

APA style is the standard citation format used in the social sciences, including most communication journals and programs.  While this website will not answer all of your questions nor give you all the information needed to write a paper in APA style (After all, APA wants to sell their books.), the FAQs do provide some answers that are helpful.


While this website has an agenda, it presents serious information based on research regarding communication and conflict resolution, from the interpersonal level to the international arena, making it a reasonable place to get ideas about how to proceed with one's own research.

Center for Public Integrity

A non-profit organization conducting journalistic investigations of major national and international issues that can provide an alternative voice about political and social concerns. 

Chicago Manual of Style Online

While not usually used in CCI or CCII classes, this link is provided as a convenience for those who use Chicago style.  This citation style is sometimes used in writing historical analysis .  The basic citation of commonly used sources, such as books and journal articles, is illustrated online at this website.

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers (Library of Congress)

This is a major project to provide PDF images of many of America's historic newspapers. At this stage of development, the site offers more than 226,000 pages of public domain newspapers from California, Florida, Kentucky, New York, Utah, Virginia and the District of Columbia published between 1900 and 1910.  It is a work in progress, but is a searchable database that can serve as a supplement to the Historic New York Times.  Regional newspapers during earlier times were much less likely to mirror what New York said than what newspapers, unfortunately, often do today.

Communication Research Measures

These are measures that have been developed by researchers who are, or at one time were, faculty members or graduate students at West Virginia University. They were developed for use by researchers and may be used for research or instructional purposes with no individualized permission. There is no cost for this use. Please cite the source(s) noted at the bottom of the measure when publishing articles based on research using these instruments.

Elements of Style, The

"This classic reference book is a must-have for any student and conscientious writer."  (from the online description)  We agree.

Google Scholar

While articles found on this website are usually peer reviewed, results can be inconsistent, with many returns guiding the user to buy a book from a commercial website or requiring the user to purchase a copy of the article.  Although this is a reasonable search engine to use in an emergency or as a supplement to library databases, it is too inconsistent to be used as the primary vehicle for locating scholarly information.

Grammar Girl

As the subtitle for this website says, it provides some "quick and dirty" references about to how to properly use English grammar and syntax.


The subtitle for this site promises access to "scholarly internet reseource collections" but not all sources located here will live up to the website's promise.  Many are not scholarly.  However, this is a searchable multidisciplinary portal to varied kinds of sources that can provide information for communication researchers.

Intuit: Information Science Resources

Multiple websites that provide a wealth of information for those researchers interested in information science

Librarian's Internet Index

Vetted for appropriateness for scholarly research by a group of California librarians, this website covers multiple areas in the social sciences, including media and film research topics.

Library of Congress: Prints and Photographs

The Prints & Photographs collection contains about one million digital images of historical American events that may be useful for the researcher who wants to examine illustrations in journalism history.  But be careful of what you choose to use, because not all the images are in the public domain and some restrictions on use may apply.

MLA Style (Modern Language Association)

MLA style is the standard citation format used in the humanities, especially when writing about language and literature.  While this website will not answer all of your questions nor give you all the information needed to write a paper in MLA style (After all, MLA wants to sell their books.), the FAQs do provide some answers that are helpful.

Mother Jones

Often critical and sometimes irreverent, this website casts an analytical eye on coverage of current events.  While not a scholarly site, it nonetheless offers a perspective that may differ from that of mainstream news organizations.