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PSYCH141 - Human Lifespan Development - Williams-Jackson: Home

to help students understanding development research:

Making an Outline

This is an example of an alphanumeric outline format. The alphanumeric format begins with roman numerals for your main points, then use capital letters, then numbers, etc. For example: 

  • If you have further sub-points than what is shown above, the formatting could go like this:

1. Sub-point 1

a. Supporting point

(1) Supporting point

(a) Supporting point

Step One: Familiarize Yourself With Your Issue

Begin your project by doing some background reading on your topic. Preliminary reading helps you:

  • achieve a basic understanding of your issue, including history and present policy; 
  • begin to identify interesting specific questions that will form the backbone of your research; and
  • start to acquire vital search terms you need in order to explore your topic more fully. 
Google Web Search

Step Two: Find, Read, and Reflect on Your Sources

Find sources on the topics that you identified in Step 1.

  • Do a comprehensive search utilizing all the sources below; leave no stone unturned
  • Print/save/email the sources you find as you go to avoid backtracking
  • Read your sources several times, highlighting relevant information and making notes as you go.
  • If you find sources that will help others in your team, SHARE THEM.
  • If you have trouble finding the appropriate type or number of sources: MEET WITH A RESEARCH LIBRARIAN

 

To find peer-reviewed articles, use the databases below. Be sure to select "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals" in EBSCO and "Academic Journals" in Gale Databases

Step Three: Write Your Paper

  • Make an appointment with Writing Center staff at least once. They will help you get started, proceed, and/or finish. This is a free service that you should utilize to maximize your success. 
  • Utilize the MJC Library & Learning Center's CITE YOUR SOURCES guide to aid with APA. A research librarian can provide face-to-face assistance with formatting and citing as well. 
  • Use NOODLETOOLS to help you cite sources correctly. 

Information Has Value

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Preliminary Reading

Scholarly, Substantive, and Popular Articles

Types of information

Peer Reviewed / Refereed Journals

What is a journal?

  • Scholarly journals exist to disseminate new & important information within an academic discipline or professional fiel.
  • Journal articles are written by experts who work within these disciplines and fields
  • Journal articles are aimed at an audience of other experts within that discipline or field
  • Journals often contain studies and experiments

Picture of an issue of JAMA Picture of an issue of JSWP

 

How can I identify a journal?

Look for: 

  • Author credentials such as advanced degrees and professional/academic affiliations
  • Articles that are often substantially longer than articles in magazines and newspapers
  • Heavy use of discipline-specific vocabulary and concepts. 
  • Extensive bibliographies of cited sources.

Where does peer review fit into all of this?

Peer review is a process that some  scholarly journal publishers use to ensure the articles they publish represent the best scholarship currently available. Peer-reviewed journals are sometimes called "refereed" journals. When an article is submitted to a peer-reviewed/refereed journal, the editors send it out to other scholars in the same field to get their opinion on the quality of the scholarship and its relevance and importance to the field. This means that when an article is finally published in a peer-reviewed publication, there is a consensus among experts that the information communicated in that article is of the highest quality.

Not all scholarly publications are peer-reviewed, though it is very common for professors to request peer-reviewed articles to ensure you are exposed to the most credible information within your discipline.

Journals sound intense!

The specific nature of journal articles, combined with the use of specialized vocabulary, means they are not always easy to read for the non-expert. It it is recommended that students have some basic knowledge about their topic before delving into scholarly information. This basic knowledge might be gleaned, for instance, from some of our Background Information databases.

 

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