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PSYC 3002 Assignment Resources: Week 1 Discussion

Goals & objectives

This week's discussion asks you to use the Walden Library to find a journal article that uses a sample to represent a larger population.

The methodology of a research study is typically described in an article’s abstract. Since library databases allow you to search for specific terms in an abstract, you can limit your results to only articles that mention either sample or sampling.

In this guide you will learn how to:

  • choose an appropriate database
  • identify and combine search terms
  • search an article’s abstract for methodology

Set up your search

Now you're on the main search page of the database PsycINFO where you can set up your search using the three search boxes at the top of the page.

For this discussion, choose a topic that interests you. This example uses high school students and drug abuse. The steps below show you how to combine your search terms and limit your results to studies about this topic that also use sampling as part of their research methods.

  1. Break your topic into keywords and enter one idea or concept per box.

    In the top search box enter:

    high school students

    In the middle search box enter:

    drug use OR substance abuse OR drug addiction

    Note: Combine related terms and concepts in one search box separated by OR. This returns results that include any of these terms.

    In the bottom search box enter:

    sample OR sampling

    Note: In the drop-down menu to the right of the search box, change Select a field (optional) to AB Abstract. This narrows your results by searching for this term only in the article's abstract.  


  2. Scroll down the page, and under Limit your results, click the checkboxes for Full Text and Peer Reviewed Scholarly Journals.


  3. Click the Search button. From your results list, click on the title of an article that interests you, and you'll see in the abstract that the terms sample OR sampling are bolded.


  4. Review the instructions in your classroom to ensure the article you select meets the discussion's requirements.

Learn more

Read more about identifying relevant databases, selecting and connecting keywords, setting up your search, and searching specific parts of an article (field searching).