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SE 10 - Research Design - Summer Session 1, 2020 - Prof. Basolo: Assignments


APA Style Material

The latest APA's Publication Manual was released in late 2019 but only in print.  These links are for that 7th edition of the manual.  It is best to use the OWL Manual which is updated.

Locate an available doi here! A doi is a set of numbers (sometimes letters, too) that helps you locate specific texts or objects. Anything can have a doi, but dois are often used to identify articles.

Find out about software to make citing sources easy here.

Written Assigments

In order to complete the one term paper, review the assignment carefully and pay attention to the following:

  1. Choose a topic that interests you where you can find appropriate data to cite.  You may want to consider what all has been going in our lives in recent months with the pandemic, healthcare, remote learning, racial injustices, rethinking policing, etc.  Think of the primary keywords that best describe your idea or hypothesis.  Begin an outline
  2. Conducting the literature review to find at least 5 peer reviewed sources that identify empirical data
  3. Recommended Databases and hints that apply to search each one follow - remember to use the filtering to increase relevancy in the output and READ the abstracts to determine whether you want to read the entire article and use the UC eLinks to open the article.  Remember to sort the output by Most Recent rather than relevancy
  4. The UC Libraries lost their access to the Elsevier 2019 journals & much of the Freedom Collection so only access to those journals through 2018.  Content is available by using the UC eLinks and selecting REQUEST so that an ILL can be generated.
  • Academic Search Complete - Scholarly, multi-disciplinary database providing indexing and abstracts for thousands of peer-reviewed journals, as well as indexing and abstracts for magazines, monographs, reports, and conference proceedings; a lot of fulltext content is included in the database - click on the pdfs or html links when available; also restrict to peer-reviewed on the left sidebar
  • PsycINFO  - don't forget to use the filters at the bottom of the search screen - scroll down; you can select APA format for exporting the citations to you via eMail
  • PubMed  - conduct your search; with results under Format - switch from summary to abstract.  Following the abstract you will find icons from publishers indicating that the article may be available.  Click through to read fulltext.  UC eLinks are at the bottom of the screen.
  • Criminal Justice Abstracts with Fulltext - contains much fulltext within database.  Covers major topics in criminology, juvenile justice, parole systems and related themes.
  • Sociological Abstracts - strong social science content - use eLinks for fulltext
  • Education Source with Fulltext - covers full spectrum of education from early childhood to post-secondary and continuing education.  Contains some fulltext.
  • Web of Science - restrict to "Web of Science Core Collection" - everything you will retrieve is scholarly peer reviewed content.  Use eLinks to open articles.
  • Annual Reviews* (many different titles - each can be searched or you can search entire database - contain long bibliographies
  • Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Database - May be easiest to use Advanced Search.  Contains a lot of fulltext within database. Subject matter is very interdisciplinary and focuses on environmental sciences and intersections to many topics. Filter content by selecting fulltext and Peer reviewed and if you don't find what you need, deactivate fulltext and use the eLinks
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context - coverage of major contemporary issues with a pro/con orientation
  • Global Issues in Context - "Global Issues In Context supports global awareness and provides a global perspective while tying together a wealth of authoritative content, empowering learners to critically analyze and understand the most important issues of the modern world. Integrating news, global viewpoints, reference materials, country information, primary source documents, videos, statistics, and more in a single search"
  • Check out other Subject Guides for topics such as News & Media coverage, films/video & streaming media, data sources, visual images, and other information resources.

         General hints to retrieve more focused outcomes are:

  • to restrict to a time period (ex, 2015+)
  • search topically
  • consider research methodology practice and enter ways to search that as part of your search strategy
  • remember to define your subjects as humans and disclose the specific population - by gender, age, medical condition, mental health state, etc - remember that you can restrict PsycINFO to empirical data
  • use specific customizing methods of each database
  • use truncation marks to permute spelling forms and expand terminology
  • read several examples of research studies before you select one to write about and critique
  • consider writing from an outline that follows and responds to how most social scientistis organize information
  • include all elements of article - hypothesis / research question; research methods; analysis; findings; conclusions and contextualize for each area
  • try and be non-subjective
  • remember to be true to the data - empirical evidence is critical
  • can you generalize the data to larger question - is sample size sufficient, and other such questions are important

   3.     Remember that 800 words is about 3-4pp and your references are in addition to that

   4.     Read some introductory passages in order to compose a relevant introduction

   5.     Cite references using APA style format described on LEFT SIDEBAR 

Evaluating Information

When using Online or Internet Resources, consider Search Engines vs. metasites - evaluate resource - be attentive to domain -may include .com, .edu, .org, .gov, .net

Evaluating Information – Applying the CRAAP Test

For Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose


Goal is to establish relevancy.  The evaluation criteria includes these issues:


Scope of coverage

Currency – be able to distinguish currency from timeliness

Relevance – meaningful to what audience; at what level; will you cite it as authoritative?

Authority – stem is author – establishes the source of the information – author/publisher/source/sponsor; organizational affiliations & credentials; contact information

Accuracy – reliability, correctness of content; supported by evidence; is it verifiable; is tone unbiased, objective, impartial & free of emotion; free of errors?

Purpose – are hypotheses and authors’ intentions clear?  Why is content important – to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?  Any political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

Ease of use – Capturing, copying, citing; design & presentation

Liaison Librarian

Julia Gelfand's picture
Julia Gelfand
Office: Science Library 228

Phone: 949-824-4971


Outline of Paper

The final paper should include the following components:

  1. Introduction of topic - thematic focus (250 words)
  2. Literature Review - 5 scholarly sources that are peer reviewed - journal articles, conference papers or scholarly book chapters/books - (500 words)
  3. Research Question - what does your literature review reveal about a topic - does it pose a question - what is being studied? (<50 words)
  4. References - use APA Style - example for a journal article:

           author (date of publication). Title of article. Source of article. Volume #, issue #, page references. DOI (if listed) - example:

           Meadows, A., Nolan, L. J., & Higgs, S. (2017). Self-perceived food addiction: Prevalence, predictors, and prognosis.           Appetite 114, 282-298. doi: