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ENGL 3000 Writing for Education/Social Sciences: Research Study

Five Steps to find a Research Study

Hi Everybody, 

I hope this Guide works for you if you aren't feeling confident with the research process. Using library databases is really a good idea for all kinds of practical and educational reasons (I can explain why if you want me to, just ask). Maybe these numbered boxes in columns one and two will help you to step through the process. Email me if you get stuck!

P.S. For step 1, you don't have to choose a Subject Database that is relevant to the research topic you chose. You can skip down to Box 1b and choose a general database, but Subject Databases are good to know about and use.

1/ To Find a Research Study to Cite, Choose a SUBJECT DATABASE to focus your search

1b/ Choose a GENERAL DATABASE if the subject databases aren't relevant to your topic

2/ Build an ADVANCED SEARCH and be sure to Limit to Scholarly or Peer Reviewed Journals

Advanced Search for best results!  Like this:

Searching: Academic Search Complete

Box 1  You may want to begin by searching a broad topic.

Then browse results to find one or more relevant articles that interest you. What terms does the database use to describe these articles in their subjects or abstracts? What are related words? You may want to modify your search as you find better or different terms.


AND Box 2   Focus your search using a second box with additional keywords. You may string similar words together in the box using OR between the words. Also, refine using limiters in the left-side menu – date, scholarly/peer-reviewed journals, subject and others.


AND Box 3  You may want to narrow further. One way to search multiple terms at  once is by using the *. Psychol* will find articles including words that begin with psychol, like psychology and psychological, etc.

2b/ Build an ADVANCED SEARCH (watch if the above box doesn't make sense)

3/ Use FIND IT to access the full article if you don't see HTML or PDF with the record

In your list of database search results, some citations will not include the full text of the article.

When that happens, in most Dalton State databases you will see a tool called Find It icon to help you access the full text of articles.

The Find It icon button will link you to the articles if they are available in other DSC library databases.

If that doesn't help, look to see if there is an icon indicating. This is an icon meaning the article can be found free, on the web.

4/ Make sure it is the right kind of RESEARCH ARTICLE you need

5/ Use APA to cite your source properly

For further details, ask at the Library for copies of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

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