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HST 2900: Special Topics Human Services - Dr. Lisa Skeens   Tags: article databases, catalog, cite, evaluate, human services, keywords, narrow topic  

Where do I start? A guide to research in the field of Human Services using peer reviewed journals.
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2014 URL: http://oul.libguides.com/hst2900 Print Guide RSS Updates

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Watch this first

 The Information Cycle & Research

Welcome to the Information Cycle! The Information Cycle is all around us, part of our everyday lives. It is comprised of Twitter, online newspapers, academic journals, and books.

From the University of Central Florida Libraries

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Flexibility

Be Flexible
Don't Be Afraid to Make Changes

  
      - It's common to modify a topic while
        researching it.

      -  You may decide that some other
         aspect of your topic is more
         interesting than the one you first chose.

      -  You may strike-out on your first topic
         choice.

   -  Once you've chosen a new topic, make it manageable.
                                     
  -  You want a topic that is neither too broad or too narrow for your assignment.

 

Topic flexibility

Back Arched. [Photography]. Retrieved from Encyclopædia
          Britannica ImageQuest.
          http://quest.eb.com/images/118_852064

 

Too broad

I want to research "Caffeine"

If a topic is too broard, you'll drown in information overload!  

What to do?  Narrow your topic!  How?

  • These article will show you many ways to narrow your topic.
 

How to narrow

If your topic is too broad you'll be inundated with search results.

  • Limit by gender or age: adolescent males
  • Limition by geographic location: United States
  • Limit by article publication dates: 2005 - 2014

         
                 Publication Date Slider [left column]

 

Be flexible.  Not all topics are created equal.

 

From Too broad to just right

Use Questions

Asking questions about a topic is a good way to find what really interest you.  Questions also provide a thesis statement. 

Look at articles that caught your eye in your quick search.  What aspects of your topic look promising?

  • What are the harmful and beneficial effects of caffeine?
  •  What are the effects of caffeine on children?

  • Is there a connection between caffeine and hyperactivity or attention deficit disorder?

  • Should energy drinks be banned from schools?
  • Is caffeine an addictive drug and should it be regulated?

  • How does caffeine affect health or pregnancy?
 

Too Narrow

I want to research "Meth Labs in Ohio"

If your topic is too narrow, you'll drive yourself crazy trying to find useful information.    

What to do?  Broaden your topic!  How?

Follow the "Quick search" directions.  

 

Refine your topic

More Ways to Broaden A Topic

  • Think about dropping one of the key concepts from the search.
  •  Your topic is too new for any scholarly articles to have been written. (Watch the video.)
  •  If you have a geographic element then broaden it.
  • Perhaps you haven't checked enough databases or you've only searched general ones.
  • What part of the topic do you find most interesting?  Focus on that part.

 

Be flexible.  Not all topics are created equal.

 

From too narrow to just right

Use Questions

Asking questions about a topic is a good way to find what really interest you.  Questions also provide a thesis statement. 

Look at the articles that caught your eye in your quick search. 

  • What ingredients are used to make methanphetamine?
  • Are there safety problems in making meth?
  • How can children be affected by Mom & Pop meth labs?
  • How lucrative are meth labs'?
  • What types of locations are methlabs located in the United States?
  • Are there problems for first responders?
  • What are guidelines to clean up a meth lab?
  • Who pays for the clean-ups?

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