Learn Effective General Searching & Database Search Strategies
(The following are suggestions to improve your search results)
Please note: Many publishers require authors to provide a list of keywords with their submitted publication. If you find a really great article that deals with your topic, check out the author's list of keywords (generally provided under the abstract). Here's an example:
Article Title: Channels of Computer-Mediated Communication and Satisfaction in Long-Distance Relationships
Keywords: communication technologies, computer-mediated communication, long-distance relationships, relationship satisfaction, communication satisfaction
Below are some other useful searching tips:
Use different search terms or keywords
Truncation or wildcard (*)
Try different databases
APA has posted the introduction and table of contents, including what's new in the Seventh Edition, here:
Examples of some of the changes:
A note about Google Scholar . . .
Although Google Scholar contains many resources, it does not contain access to all relevant resources for your research topic. Researchers are strongly encouraged to look at the additional resources mentioned above to conduct a thorough literature review. You do not need to purchase articles via Google Scholar many are available for through the UNLV Libraries or via Interlibrary Loan.
For help connecting to UNLV Libraries' resources through Google Scholar see the following.
This semester you will be required to select a topic to study for your final research paper. There are no limits on what you study, only how you study it (using quantitative research methods). As you think about what you want to study, a few tips:
Take the time to brainstorm! Here are two questions you can ask yourself to help think through possible topics. First, have you read an article or seen something in the news that relates to the assignment? Second, have you personally experienced something related to the topic that you want to explore further? If you are still struggling with your topic, consider talking to peers and/or your professor to help solidify your choice.
Now that you have a topic, you want to develop research questions around your topic. Starting with your topic, consider the literature (past work) that you have reviewed, and consider — what is next? What don’t we know? What do we need to know more about? What questions linger for you after reading them? Taking that time to write this down as you go along will help you go back and pull different studies together to inform your thoughts.
Some of the same things that form a good topic help guide a good research research question — you don’t want to be too specific or too broad, and you should have evidence that helps support what you are asking and why. As a rule of thumb a research question should be:
How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography
WHAT IS AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY?
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.
ANNOTATIONS VS. ABSTRACTS
Abstracts are the purely descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles or in periodical indexes. Annotations are descriptive and critical; they may describe the author's point of view, authority, or clarity and appropriateness of expression.
Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research.
First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.
Cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style.
Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that (a) evaluate the authority or background of the author, (b) comment on the intended audience, (c) compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or (d) explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic.
CRITICALLY APPRAISING THE BOOK, ARTICLE, OR DOCUMENT
For guidance in critically appraising and analyzing the sources for your bibliography, see How to Critically Analyze Information Sources. For information on the author's background and views, ask at the reference desk for help finding appropriate biographical reference materials and book review sources.
SAMPLE ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY ENTRY FOR A JOURNAL ARTICLE
The following example uses APA style (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition, 2019) for the journal citation:
Pennington, N. (2017). Tie strength and time: Mourning on social networking sites. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 61(1), 11-23. https://doi.org/10.1080/08838151.2016.1273928
In this article, Pennington seeks to ascertain the role that the strength of tie (e.g., weak versus strong) and time (both in terms of time spent on social media and time since one’s friend has passed) play in finding support on the social networking site, Facebook. Pennington found, through a survey distributed to college students who had known someone who had died that they were Facebook friends with, that those who used Facebook regularly were more likely to find support on the site compared to those who had not. The study also found that relational closeness was related to visiting the Facebook profile of the deceased, but also was related to wanting the page removed from Facebook. Pennington concludes that there is no one right way to grieve, and more work is needed to ascertain the benefits and drawbacks of seeking support online while grieving.
UNLV Interlibrary Loan: Use this account to get articles, books, and other resources from our interlibrary loan system that are not available through UNLV Libraries for free by clicking HERE to set up an account.
RefWorks: Software that will allow you to store, organize and format your research citations via the Internet automatically.
Google Scholar is a subset of Google that is designed to search for academic and scholarly articles and books online.
Research Consultations: If you would like to schedule a time that is convenient for your schedule to discuss your research, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-895-2141.
Need to know where to publish, how to contact a publisher, and what has been published? Check out the following resources.