Here are some helpful hints to assist you in getting the most out of research.
1. Buy a copy of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th edition. The first three chapters are a very important guide to writing for an academic audience.
2. Set the foundation - build your skills, just as you would in learning anything new. The more you do it the better you become.
3. Ask for help! Get to know your subject librarian. We can help you with search strategies and source selection to maximize your time management.
4. Utilize the "Find It" feature on the Libraries website.
5. Sign up for Interlibrary Loan which is also known as Illiad.
6. Sign up for "Open Sessions", especially the ones pertaining to undergraduate research and Zotero or RefWorks.
A literature review is the first step when writing a research paper. It will allow you to locate books, journal articles and other materials to support or refute the research you are doing. They can give you an overview or act as background to more recent information. A literature review allows you to learn about the history of a field and current developments. It allows you to find the most pertinent or relevant books and journal articles related to a subject.
I like to use the same techniques as developing a topic sentence, for developing a search strategy.
Start with your topic sentence. I am researching adolescent healthy eating initiatives.
Next break it down. What are other words that can be used?
adolescent young adult teen* picks up teen, teens, teenager, teenagers
healthy eating nutrition
initiatives programs projects studies
Connect them using the following words
and : narrows your results. All words must be in the results adolescent and healthy eating
or : broadens your results. Any of the words must be in your results. healthy eating or nutrition
not : excludes words. adolescent not (males or boys)
() : allows you to combine it all together. (adolescent or teen* or young adult) and (healthy eating or nutrition) and (initiative or program or study or projects)