Skip to Main Content PCC Library Logo

Speech Research Guide

An introduction to library resources and services for speech students.


Welcome SPCH 001 Students! PCC Library Research Session

This guide provides information for conducting research for SPCH 001 using PCC Library resources.

Use the boxes on this page to review various aspects of research, including: selecting a research topic, finding books & ebooks, finding articles, creating APA citations, and more.

Assignment objective: In this 5 to 6 minute speech, you will be writing and delivering an informative speech. Your task is to choose an informative topic, do your own research, and construct an original speech.

Use the PCC Library to search for THREE credible sources in APA format. 

These sources can include:

  • Newspapers
  • News magazines (not popular magazines)
  • Books, ebooks
  • Original data from professional journals

Please try to avoid websites as sources of information unless you clear it with your professor – even if that website is from a reputable source.

Selecting a Research Topic

Consider the following as you brainstorm:

  • Topics that are more specific & focused make better research topics (and are easier to research!)
  • Avoid research questions that can be answered with a simple yes/no response
  • Questions to ask oneself:
    • What is something that interests you?
    • What aspects of the topic interest you?
    • What keywords are associated with this topic?

Looking for topic ideas? Browse these sample topic lists:

  • The Opposing Viewpoints database provides this Browse Issues list of contemporary Issues
  • The Pew Research Center provides this list of Research Topics that they conduct research on

Finding Articles using Databases

Library databases are searchable, online collections of resources. They work by entering topic keywords to search on.

Below are three recommended databases that contain all kinds of articles including magazine, newspaper, and scholarly/academic journal articles.

Looking for more databases to choose from?
Check out PCC Library's full list of databases on the A-Z Database List page.

Using EbscoHost Databases video tutorial:

Using ProQuest Databases video tutorial:

Using US Major Dailies Database video tutorial:

Finding Books & Ebooks using the Library Catalog or Databases

The search box below covers PCC Library's catalog of books, ebooks, videos, and articles. It works by entering topic keywords, then clicking Search.

Use the tabs above the search box to narrow your search to just Books* or just Articles, or use the All tab to search across all resource types.

*Using the Books tab will search for both books and ebooks.

Library databases are searchable, online collections of resources. They work by entering topic keywords to search on.

Below are three recommended databases that contain ebooks.

Intro to Library Databases video tutorial:

APA Citations

Use the left-hand side navigation to display formatting guides and examples.

Use the left-hand side navigation to display examples of APA citations by resource type.

Includes examples of in-text and full citations.

APA Citations video tutorial:

Using "Hanging Indents" in Microsoft Word and Google Docs video tutorial:

Need Additional Help?

For research questions/class assignments, get in touch with a Reference Librarian the following ways:

  • In Person - come to the library's Reference Desk during open hours and talk with a librarian -- no appointment necessary!
  • Consultation - we offer phone and videoconference (Zoom) consultations by appointment.
  • Phone - leave a message for the PCC librarians, and we'll call you back: (626) 585-7360
  • IM/Chat - use the chat box on this page, available 24/7!
  • Email - send us a message at and we'll respond within 24 hours on weekdays.

For questions about your library account, checked out items, and renewals, email us or leave a message with the Circulation Desk at (626) 585-7174.