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Research Basics Tutorial: What Do Researchers Do?

What can a writer do wBackground: Present Information, Establish Factsith this source?

Context: Present information, establish facts
Example: Explicate, Interpret, AnalyzeExhibit: Explicate, Interpret, Analyze
Argument: Affirm, Dispute, Refine, Extend
Expert: Affirm, Dispute, Refine, Extend


Method: Critical lens, key terms, theory, style, perspective, discourse

 


Terms: Critical lens, key terms, theory, style, perspective, discourse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOPIC – Define the research question/statement

SOURCES – Identify the information need. Do you need background info? A research article? A literature review article? etc. What databases would include this type of information on your topic?

KEYWORDS – Select the words you will be using to find information effectively and efficiently (Use a variety of words to describe your topic/concepts. Find subject headings that relate to your topic/concept).

EVALUATION – Evaluate information critically. Is the info relevant, reliable, current, appropriate?

USE--Organize, synthesize and communicate information to make your point/argument.

CITE--Ethically and legally access and use info by avoiding plagiarism and citing all your sources.

What does it mean to write with sources?

Selecting relevant sources is more than finding the type of source that is required and it is more than finding a source that contains your keywords. As the researcher you will want to select sources that enable you to engage a question or a problem.

Required Sources

A list of required sources will help you envision what a good bibliography will do: show your reader the depth and breadth of your research. Gathering all of the required sources for an assignment does not substitute for engaging with sources in your writing. A well researched paper will converse with the ideas and information presented in sources.

Framing Your Research

Scholarly writers engage with the work of others through the strategic selection of research and ideas pertinent to the question or problem under discussion. When trying to decide if a source is pertinent to your question, it can be helpful to ask yourself: What could a writer do with this source? Could this source provide background facts or information? Could I analyze or interpret this source for my reader? Could this source refine my question or extend my thesis? Could this source be a lens for interpreting competing findings?

A paper that cites a lot of background sources will be a boring report. A paper that cites a lot of argument sources without including an exhibit runs the risk of rehashing the ideas of others instead of applying the ideas of others to new questions or contexts.

Works Cited

Bizup, J. (2008). BEAM: A Rehtorical vocabulary for teaching research-based writingRhetoric Review, 27(1), p72-86. doi:10.1080/07350190701738858

PsycINFO Citation Searching

Citation Searches

Some databases will allow you to access a version of the reference list for an article with links to check other databases for the full text.  This will bring you backwards in time as it will bring you to works the author/s consulted when writing the article. This list is called cited references or references.

Some databases will give you a list of other articles/authors that have cited an article with links to check other databases for the full text.  This list will bring you forwards in time as it will show you other works that were published after the article was written.  This list is called “times cited” or “cited by.”

PsycINFO

Google Scholar

What Researchers Do:

TOPIC – Define the research question/statement

SOURCES – Identify the information need. Do you need background info? A research article? A literature review article? etc. What databases would include this type of information on your topic?

KEYWORDS – Select the words you will be using to find information effectively and efficiently (Use a variety of words to describe your topic/concepts. Find subject headings that relate to your topic/concept).

EVALUATION – Evaluate information critically. Is the info relevant, reliable, current, appropriate?

USE--Organize, synthesize and communicate information to make your point/argument.

CITE--Ethically and legally access and use info by avoiding plagiarism and citing all your sources.

Search Tips: Finding Scholarly or Peer-Reviewed Articles

Use a database that indexes peer-reviewed journals, such as PsycInfo, ERIC, or CINAHL.

On the Search screen in any database, click the option (if offered) to limit results to "Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed Journals."

Scan the abstract of any article to identify words typically used in original research, such as "methods," "data," "results," "findings," or "conclusions." If the abstract includes some combination of these terms, there's a good chance that it is scholarly or peer-reviewed.

Still unsure if the article comes from a peer-reviewed journal? Identify the name of the journal in which the article was originally published, and find the publication's home site on the Internet. Look for information "About" the journal and its editorial standards. If the journal says that submissions are reviewed by an editorial panel of the author's peers, then it is a peer-reviewed journal.

Finding Resources From a Citation

Finding a Resource from a Citation

Scholarly articles and books include a list of references/ resources that the author consulted when writing the work. These citations can either be listed at the end of the page in the case of footnotes or the end of the chapter or article.  Here is an example:

When trying to find the full text of a resource from the citation information, it is helpful to know what type of resource it is before trying to find the full text.

Books

Citations for books will generally list the place of publication and publisher distinguishing them from other types of resources.    

To find a book, try an advanced search in our Avalon catalog using the title of the book.

Example

Hamlin, Françoise N. (2012). Crossroads at Clarksdale: the Black freedom struggle in the Mississippi Delta after World War II. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Articles

Citations for articles will generally list the year, volume, issue, and page numbers.

Example

Shields, S. A., & Bhatia, S. (2009). Darwin on race, gender, and culture. American Psychologist64(2), 111-119. doi:10.1037/a0013502

Licensing

The contents of the Information Literacy Tutorial may be reused with attribution. Please copy the following into new works based on the Information Literacy Tutorial.