Skip to main content
* UC Irvine access only

SE 10 - Research Design - Wong Section: Assignments


APA Style Material

The APA's Publication Manual was released in July 2009. These links are for the sixth edition of the manual.

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.

The Citation

Follow the proposed citation:

  • Author - Last Name, First Name, MI, date.
  • Title of Article.
  • Source - title of Publication, volume #, Issue #: pagination or DOI, specific date
  • Abstract - do NOT copy nor cite from a published abstract from an article; just use it as a model; usually it is best to write the abstract last so it really describes the paper or study
  • Introduction
  • Methods - can be searched in PsychINFO under "Methodology" - Empirical or specific kind of study; remember to identify the Independent and Dependent variables - may be stated or you will have to determine from the data
  • Results / Findings
  • References - follow the APA style - the Publication Manual of the APA, 6th ed., 2009 is found at each Library's Reference Desk at  BF76.7 .P83 2009 and the APA Style Guide to Electronic Resources, 2007 is also found at each Library's Reference Desk at  PN171.F56 A63 2007
  • Tables / Figures - can also be searched under supplemental data.

All about Research

When evaluating research - issues that make a difference:

  • is there an impact on future thinking about the topic
  • evidence that contributes to influence ongoing research
  • where is it published - what kind of source
  • was it peer reviewed?
  • evaluating source of publication
  • was article cited?  if so where, when, and by whom?
    • citation counts
  • research profile of author
  • translates into news?

Additional Sources

Besides journal articles there are many other scholarly information products and they include both quantitative and qualitative content:

  • Books, eBooks, Monographs - chapter level discovery usually requires a database to find it - consider the chapter analogous to a journal article within an issue or volume of a journal
  • Statistical sources/Data - often issued by government agencies (Department of Education, Department of Commerce (Census/demographic data, housing, business, etc)
  • Interviews - questions are important and should reflect the reason for the interview and the special attributes of the subject (person being interviewed)
  • Video, Film, Multimedia, Ethnographies - more qualitative, evolving & emerging research - in progress
  • Case Studies - explores past experiences
  • Marketing or promotional content - directed for a specific user population or audience
  • Use the Subject/Research Guides to identify appropriate resources

Course Assignments

In order to complete the numerous assignments, review each assignment carefully and pay attention to the following hints:

Survey Paper - 5pp paper about the results of the survey organized as follows:

Abstract: 120 words with 3-4 Keywords - not part of the page count

Hypothesis:  can it be confirmed or rejected, often stated as a problem statement or question

*Introduction  & Research Question:  why is this topic important or timely; who does it effect? An overview of the research topic, question, methods and organization of the paper

Literature Review:  Cite 3+ academic/scholarly articles or books related to this issue

Methods Section:  how was the study conducted or carried out? (interviews, questionnaires, laboratory environment, observational, etc) what was studied and how?  Human subjects involved or not?

Findings:  what data was collected and how? Results of the survey and did they lead to acceptance or rejection of the hypothesis?

 Conclusions:  what did this research contribute to a better understanding of the problem or issues being studied?  How do issues of validity or bias play out, relationship to lit review and any leads or suggestions for future research on this topic

*References / Bibliography - Use APA style for citations and references - separate - not included in 5pp

Any graphics or data presented in various forms such as charts, graphs, maps, images, illustrations or other visual content and appendix - not included in page count


Field Study or Job Site Paper

Review the Field Study Catalog (available for 2018-19) and see roster of potential sites and then follow the directions in your syllabus.  Make sure that you pose a research question and answer that.  In the literature review, use any of the databases listed in this guide or on any of the Social Ecology Subject Guides.  If you need books you can search Library Search or Google Scholar by keyword or subject heading and identify either a relevant chapter or a book.  Outline of 4 page paper includes fhe following elements but excludes title page, abstract & 3-4 keywords, list of references, any graphics, appendix.

1.  Choose topic or theme

2.  Introduction - why topic is of interest; potential research question, research methods, documet review, content for potential interview questions - remember to note geography or setting, population of community you will work with

3. Literature Review - cite 2+ articles and may also include professional reports, newspaper articles, websites

4.  Methods - cite research methods to be used, data sources and what data will be collected

5. Findings - describe results of data collection - include Background, location, issues addressed by hosting site

6. Conclusion - summary of key findings, perceived limitations based on validity or bias, relationship to lit search and potential for future research on topic

7. Bibliography of references

Finding Relevant Sources

Quantitative Research refers to an article that has numerical or measurable data that describes what is studied, that can be compared and may be considered empirical. Used to quantify attitudes, opinions, behaviors and other defined variables and to generalize results from the general population.  Qualitative Research is more descriptive using text for exploratory research and provides insights to gain understanding of reasons, opinions, motivations and outcomes.  Scholarly research means that the article is usually peer reviewed by specialists in the field who give feedback about the elements in the outline. *means you can search multiple databases on the same platform; ** you can search each of these databases together but you may lose some of the special features of each database - click on link Choose Databases

Remember to click on the entry to access the abstract which should lead you to whether you want to read the entire article and for the fulltext of the article, click on UC eLinks

  • PsycINFO* - remember to restrict your search to peer-reviewed journal articles (otherwise you can retrieve book chapters, papers, theses) and by date - it may go back to 1806! - database covers psychology and all its specialties including health, environmental, social, educational, clinical psychology and related social science literature.  Can also be restricted by population, age, and other filters. Use UC eLinks to read articles. 
  • Academic Search Complete** - an multidisciplinary database that contains a lot of full-text content - can restrict to Scholarly Journals and to Full Text.  Be as specific in your search strategy as you can. 
  • Criminal Justice Abstracts FullText**
  • Sociological Abstracts* - Covers Sociology and Social Relations in thorough way - Use UC eLinks to get fulltext
  • Scopus - large multidisciplinary database with heavy coverage in sciences - covers book chapters as well as journal literature
  • Web of Science - restrict to Social Sciences Citation Index and apply years of coverage as it covers nearly a century for the social sciences and more than a century for the sciences
  • Agricultural & Environmental Science Database*  - Very multidisciplinary database that covers different subject areas about agriculture, food science, the environment, pollution, etc. - Use UC eLinks to get fulltext
  • Google Scholar  - make sure that you use the VPN when off-campus to activate the eLinks
  • review list of additional resources by subject in the Research Guides (one for each department in Social Ecology, 1) CLS, 2) PSB, 3) UPPP - or in Databases to Get You Started

 General hints to retrieve more focused outcomes are:

  • can 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, eg) Scholarly articles (peer reviewed)
  • 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 scientists 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
  • you are trying to establish relevancy to your information query - you, as reader define that

   Read abstract to determine if you should read the entire article, then some introductory passages in order to compose a relevant introduction

   Cite references using APA style format described on LEFT SIDEBAR 

Liaison Librarian

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

Phone: 949-824-4971


Researching Social Media Usage, The Internet and Addiction

There are several specialized resources and databases that will index content on this topic.  Following are such resources with hints about how best to search them and find the data that you need.

You should consider the type of addiction - to gaming, social media, internet usage, online shopping and the population you are studying, students, young children, seniors, etc.  By framing your data points you expect to analyze, will add to your relevant output.

Additional Resources

There are blogs, twitter feeds and other less formal forms of scholarly communication that cover this topic.  They may include: