Your first step is to decide what the topic of your research will be and then to develop a strategy for working on the assignment. Also, use your own work or personal experience on the job or in an internship to decide on a research topic.Speak with your professor or other students in the class to determine if your research selection is viable.
Ex. Exercise programs help stroke patients recover faster. True or False?
Is the topic interesting to you? Is it manageable? Think about these things before beginning your library literature search.
Think of keywords or terms that you would use to describe your topic.You might read several articles, newspapers, an encylopedia, etc. to get an overview of your subject.
Ex. Use the terms Stroke, exercise, progress, recovery In searching the databases. Found that the medical term for stroke was "Cerebrovascular Disease" and added the term "treatment programs" when searching for journal articles..
Decide what types of sources will help you. Be sure to consider the reliability of the sources before listing them. Below are some of the sources that could be used. Now make a list of where you want to go and find out if the library owns or subscribes to the resource. Keep track of all the resources that you use. This will save you time
Library Catalog - for Books, Media, Dissertations
Library Databases - Click on "Articles"
DATABASES FOR RESEARCH
SUBJECT SPECIFIC DATABASE
SUBJECT RELATED DATABASES
GENERAL ACADEMIC DATABASE
HOW TO DETERMINE IF IT'S A SCHOLARLY ARTICLE OR A POPULAR MAGAZINE? PRIMARY OR SECONDARY SOURCES?
The following list will help you identify if the journal is a peer-reviewed journal or a popular magazine.
Bibliography: Scholarly articles include bibliographies,footnotes,or endnotes that help identify additional resources to consult. Also provides you with the references used in the journal article.
Abstract: The full text often begins with an abstract or summary containing the main points of the article.
Authors: Authors’ names are clearly listed with credentials/degrees and affiliations which are often universities or research institutions. The authors would be considered experts in the field.
Audience: The language of the article uses a vocabulary or specialized language intended for other scholars in the field, not for the average reader.
Graphics & Images: The graphics are more likely to include tables, graphs and charts that are as important as the article text. There will be few if no advertisements.
Length: Scholarly articles are often, but not always, longer than the popular articles found in general interest magazines such as Time or Newsweek.
Peer-Reviewed: Scholarly articles are evaluated by other experts before the article is published. This is called a peer-reviewed article. Journals that review and evaluate their articles will be called peer-reviewed journals.
PRIMARY OR SECONDARY SOURCES?
A primary source is a document created by the person such as a speech, diary, letters, dissertation, original research or the results of an experiment.
A secondary source interprets and analyzes the original documents. This can be a recreation textbook, journal article, peer-reviewed journal article.