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HHP 406

Research tools and strategies for all parts of the research project in Dr. Dasinger's HHP 406. Updated Spring 2021.


This Course Guide will walk you through each stage of your research project for HHP 406. Contact a librarian at any point for help with this project. We love talking with students about their research!

Each page on this Guide corresponds to a segment of your research project.

Background Research

Check out these library resources to find background research:

Topic paragraph strategies:

  • Consider 3-4 possible broad topics 
    • Drawn from your textbook, your own experience, other classes, a quick Google search 
  • Do some brief (10 minute) searching for each topic
  • What do you find?
    • Problems
    • Keywords or vocabulary
    • History, background, context
    • Which topic most interests you
    • What do learn in this quick search?
    • Number of search results - are you getting too many and need to narrow?
    • Do good sources exist for your topic? Consider things like date and timeliness. Sometimes a topic is so cutting edge that there are only a handful of articles about it. 

It surprises some students to hear a librarian say this, but I love Wikipedia and Google for this stage in the project. They're great for an overview and brainstorming. However, even if you start with these online tools, do not finish with them. It's generally much harder to evaluate and prove the reliability of Wikipedia and Google sources, and they don't allow you the same flexibility to truly drive your search. 

Purpose Paragraph Instructions

Due Sunday, September 18

The purpose of this assignment is to identify a suitable topic for this project as well as to write an effective purpose statement. For this assignment, you will submit a paragraph outlining your topic of choice. When choosing your topic, keep in mind that you will need to use primary academic sources when writing your paper. Your topic must relate to both physical activity and psychosocial concepts.

The first sentence of your paragraph should be your specific purpose statement. Some example purpose statements include: (1) The purpose of this project is to examine the relationship between social support and exercise behavior after recovery from sport injury; (2) The purpose of this project is to review physical activity intervention strategies for reducing sedentary behavior in older adults; (3) The purpose of this project is to apply self-determination theory in rehabilitation settings; (4) The purpose of this project is to compare and contrast physical activity to other forms of treatment for depression and anxiety; and (5) The purpose of this project is to examine the relationship between the Big 5 personality traits and physical activity behaviors. Notice how these purpose statements incorporate psychology/sociology and physical activity and are specific enough to inform someone exactly what the project is about. Make sure to avoid vague purpose statements such as…The purpose of this project is to examine psychosocial aspects of exercise.

The rest of the paragraph should provide a rationale (with citations from primary academic sources) about why the topic you have chosen is significant and important. In many instances, problems related to your purpose focus are used to create your rationale. For example, if your purpose was … The purpose of this project is to compare and contrast physical activity to other forms of treatment for depression and anxiety …then you may want to outline the problems associated with anxiety and depression such as the prevalence, burden of these diseases, side effects of drugs, etc. Additionally, provide statistics (with citations) outlining the significance of your topic. For example, if your topic relates to motivating individuals with a specific theory, you may want to highlight the percentage of individuals currently not meeting the recommended physical activity guidelines.