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Nonverbal Communication Research Guide

This guide will help you start your research on nonverbal communication for your research paper or presentation.

 Reference Books - Searching the Library Catalog - Searching Electronic Resources - Searching the Internet - Recommended Web Sites - Web Evaluation - Citing Your Sources


Reference Books

Reference books are a good place to start your research. The following list of books will help you narrow down your topic, find additional search terms, and get a general overview of your topic before you begin your research. This is not an exhaustive list, so be sure to look at the books shelved near these titles for additional books.

  • Marshall Cavendish Encyclopedia of Personal Relationships: Human Behavior – REF BF 121.M37
  • Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mankind – REF GN 307.I44
  • Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life – REF GN 333 .W67
  • Encyclopedia of World Cultures – REF GN 550 .E53
  • Curiosities of Popular Custom – REF GT 31.W2
  • Culturegrams – REF GT 150.C85
  • International Encyclopedia of Communications – REF P 87.5.I5

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Searching the Library Catalog

Once you have narrowed down your topic, search the library catalog for additional resources on your specific topic. Here are some search tips and strategies.

Try the following subject headings in the subject search screen (you will then want to scroll down the search results for additional related headings).

  • Nonverbal communication
  • Gesture
  • Tattoo?
  • Hair?

To conduct a simple keyword search, try some of the following search terms (remember to put phrases in quotation marks and note that doing a keyword search will produce broader results than the subject search).

  • “body decoration"
  • "body language"
  • “body art"
  • dance or "dance communication"
  • cosmetics

Note: The ? symbol placed at the end of the term is a truncation symbol that tells the computer to search for all words that start with the first part of the letters included. For example, bod? will search for bodies, and body.

Browsing the library shelves is another good way to find additional resources. Look at the titles in the BF 637.C45 and BF 637.N66 section for relevant sources on nonverbal communication.

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Searching Electronic Resources for Articles

You will find magazine, journal, and newspaper articles in many of the databases at OCC Library. Start with the same search terms that you used to search the library catalog. Some databases will help you narrow your topic or suggest related topics. This is a list of the most pertinent sources. You can find all of the databases that are available on the library's Periodicals and Electronic Resources page. If you are off campus, you will need to log on with your student ID and last name.

  • PsycINFO - PsycINFO (from Ebsco) is an abstract and citation database of psychological literature from the 1800s to the present. It provides scholarly literature in the behavioral sciences and mental health, and in related fields such as psychiatry, management, business, education, social science, neuroscience, law, medicine, and social work.
  • Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection - Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection is a comprehensive database covering information concerning topics in emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry & psychology, mental processes, anthropology, and observational and experimental methods. The database contains more than 560 full-text journals.
  • Health Reference Center Academic - This database provides full-text access to magazines and scholarly journals on: fitness, pregnancy, medicine, nutrition, diseases, public health, occupational health/safety, alcohol and drug abuse, and prescription drugs.
  • Health Source: Nursing & Academic Edition - This resource provides nearly 550 scholarly full-text journals focusing on many medical disciplines. Coverage of nursing and allied health is particularly strong.
  • Academic OneFile - Database of magazine and journal articles, most of which are available in full-text. You may also limit your search to scholarly journals. Use Subject for broad topics and use Keyword for narrow topics, new words, or combination of terms. Look for articles with Full Text and print or e-mail these.
  • Academic Search Premier - Similar to Academic Onefile, but with different content. Database of magazine and journal articles, most of which are available in full-text. You may also limit your search to scholarly journals.
  • Lexis-Nexis Academic - Provides medical journals and newsletters, along with general magazine, journal, and newspapers on all topics.

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Searching the Internet for Web Sites

The following Web sites will help you find reliable Internet resources that are of good authority for your research paper or presentation.

  • IPL2 - This site was developed by librarians as a reliable and efficient guide to Internet resources. This site is a searchable, annotated subject directory of more than 14,000 Internet resources that have been selected and evaluated by librarians.
  • DMOZ Open Directory Project – This human-edited directory of the Web breaks the topics into sub-topics and also provides “see also” references.
  • Google Advanced Search - Instead of using Google's default search, try the advanced search. There are a lot of tools that will give you better results, such as a box that lets you limit your results to a domain such as .edu or .gov.

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Recommended Web Sites

  • Beauty Check - This site is based on a long-term research project at the Universities of Regensburg and Rostock in Germany. Researchers wanted to discover why certain faces are more attractive than others and the consequences of these perceptions. (Click English Version at the top of the page)
  • Bodylanguage: The Language That Everybody Speaks - Frank van Marwijk from the Netherlands authors this site with features on nonverbal communication through intonation, posture, touch, and distance and looks at nonverbal communication during the job interview and in situations of love.
  • Face-to-Face With Change - Implementation of Technology-Enabled Learning for the Nonverbal and Paralinguistic Features of Language. A list of links to resources for nonverbal and paralinguistic language learning. Developed at Northeastern University.

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Web Evaluation

Evaluating Web Sites - A quick and useful guide to help you evaluate the Web pages you find for purpose, authority, objectivity, relevance, currency, and responsibility.

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Citing Your Sources

  • Purdue OWL: Research and Citation Resources – A thorough guide to basic research and citing your sources using MLA, APA, and other formats. From Purdue University's online writing lab.
  • Guides to Cite It! – Provides style guides for APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, and others. From the University of Georgia Libraries.

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(jk/vo updated 3/08, updated lc 12/11)