For Part B of your Week 2 Application, you will find articles and create a literature review of 3-5 sources. This guide covers:
Construct and refine your search
Identify original research studies
Primary and secondary sources
In your courseroom, see the Week 2 Resources about "wonderings" for ideas and help to refine your own "wondering"—the question related to your specialization that you want to investigate. Also consider your classmates' feedback on your wondering from the Week 2 Discussion.
Capture the main ideas of your wondering topic with terms that you would expect to see in an article's title or abstract. Brainstorm keywords in advance, for example:
Focus on the main concepts, avoiding words that are vague or implied. For example, "affect" could be phrased many ways: impact, impede, hinder, inhibit, etc. A correlation between the concepts is implied. Rather than trying to guess every possible word an author might use, leave it out.
The term low income might look incomplete, but it captures low-income student, low-income family, low-income household, etc. Likewise, you might instead use simply success or achievement.
Note: Use or between terms to search for any of the terms—only one needs to appear in the article title, abstract, etc. Learn more about using Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT).
Tip: Limit your search to recent, scholarly articles. See the box on the left, Limit your results.
Add these terms to your search or use them instead of your original keywords. Learn more about using subject terms.
Tip: Though you need only 3-5 articles, examine more. You should include the best of what's available—what's most relevant and useful for your wondering. If you look at only 3 sources, you will likely miss important research.
After a search, read article titles and abstracts to see if they address your topic and look for indications that the author(s) conducted original research. (Click an article title to see its abstract.)
Some abstracts clearly identify the major components of an original research study:
Other abstracts are less structured but still readily indicate whether it's a research study:
A Primary Source is any material where the author presents his or her own research, theory, ideas, or experience.
A Secondary Source analyzes and discusses primary sources.
NOTE: you must look at a source to tell if it's primary or secondary.
Some primary sources will include secondary source material, such as the literature review portion of a research article.