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SPC 1608 Ashton - Problem/Solution Speech: Step 2

Step 2 Outcomes

In this section:

  • you will research your topic using electronic databases

  • you will learn to evaluate websites

  • you will decide to keep or revise your preview  statement and supporting arguments

Research, Research, Research

No matter how much you already know about your topic, there will likely be plenty out there that you don’t, and perhaps this source may even have helpful statistical information. Read as much as you can about your topic, starting with broad discussions on your topic (i.e., articles about your problem at a national or state level rather than specific to your area) and then moving on to more local coverage. Some key sources are those materials that describe how your problem is/was dealt with in other communities like yours. You can use this information as a comparison tool or to inform your solution.

Part 1: Getting Started

Now that you have a preview  statement, let's see what information is available. To walk you through the process, we will continue with the topic of texting.

For this exercise, we will be using the Valencia Databases.  Why? We are looking for resources with authority, that don't display bias, and are also relevant and current.  When you use the Valencia Databases instead of Google, you have a significantly greater chance of finding a credible resource.  There are also many credible websites found searching Google which may be used for your research.  We will learn more about evaluating websites for content further into our assignment.

In Part 2, we will outline the research process using the Valencia databases.

Part 2: Accessing Databases

To access the databases, log into your Atlas account.

Next, select the Courses tab and then Search the Library from the Libraries box on the right side of the page.Atlas>Courses>Library Tab Screenshot

Library Catalog

Once the library catalog opens, you will see a screen like the one below:

Valencia Search the Library Catalog Page Screenshot

Part 3: Search

In the main search box, type your term.  In this case, we are searching "texting". 

Catalog Search Screenshot - texting keyword results



Part 4: Limit your results

As you can see by the circled areas, there are multiple options to limit your results.

You can limit by the type of items (books, DVDs, articles) on both the top drop-down menu and the side rail.  You can even limit to a specific type of articles, such as those in Peer-reviewed Journals.   One helpful way to limit your results is to select a Subject Topic or by Publication Date

Screenshot - Texting Search with Filter Options Highlighted

Part 5: Evaluating Websites

After searching the Valencia databases, you may realize that you need additional information for your speech. In addition to Valencia's databases, you can use search engines such as Google to find appropriate resources.  When narrowing down a topic, you can use the same Boolean search strategies (AND, OR, NOT) you would use when searching for an article in the library databases. You can learn how to use Boolean Search with Google in this helpful article.  

In your search, you will need to determine if a website would be a good resource.  To assist with this process, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Author: Who created the website? Individual, Government Agency, Organization, Media Outlet
  • Currency: When was the website updated? How do you know the website is current?
  • Relevance: Is the content relevant to the speech?
  • Bias: Is the website biased in some way?
  • Consistency: Can you find other examples of this information from other sources?


After asking yourself these questions, it should be easier to determine if a website would be a good resource.  If you still have questions, you can always contact Professor Ashton or visit the library for further guidance.

Research Assignment

Conduct  research for your speech and find at least 3 sources that you can use. You will need these sources in the next tab.

Go to Step 3 next.