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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.

Research Tips from Previous HHP 406 Students

Shared by HHP students in spring 2022. 

  • Select a topic that you personally relate to
  • Define your topic before you start searching so you'll have a better understanding and make it easier to research
  • SPORTDiscus and PubMed are good databases for HHP research
  • Use Google Scholar as well as the library resources to find articles
  • Wikipedia is a good learning resource at the start of your research
  • Find keywords to start your search
  • Use keywords when researching to give more options and variety
  • Read the abstract first to make sure the article is beneficial for your research topic
  • When you're searching in the library resources, look to the left. There is a list of tabs to narrow down the sources that come up. 
  • There is a section on the library page where you can filter to peer-reviewed journal articles only
  • Peer-reviewed articles are much more reliable
  • Find a topic with a lot of peer-reviewed info
  • Use multiple sources
  • Be open minded to multiple research sources
  • Have someone else read over your paper 
  • Ask someone to review your paragraph before turning it in
  • Use the library guide for this class
  • Ask a librarian!

Classmate Questions (and Librarian Answers)

What are some ways to help your research paper flow better?

Do lots of writing and create many drafts. Visit the Writing Center, multiple times if possible. Use outlines, notes, and brainstorming options to figure out your points, subpoints, and examples, and move those around as needed. Make sure you are using your sources well. Are there ways you can compare/contrast/synthesize multiple sources at the same time, rather than just focusing on one source at a time?

How to easily choose a topic?

Brainstorm multiple ideas. Use the library resources, Wikipedia, and Google to search for potential ideas and see what research exists on the topic. Take lots of notes as you go. 

Best way to paraphrase?

Practice! Read the source you want to paraphrase, then minimize it and don't open it again until you've written your paraphrased section. Be sure to cite your sources even if you paraphrase, and keep good notes for your original sources if you want to use a direct quotation, paraphrased summary, or your own ideas. 

How to properly cite sources? How to cite correctly and effectively?

Use the APA Style Manual and website. Figure out the APA "formula" by looking at other APA citations. Once you figure out the formula, almost all of your citations will follow the exact same format and order. 

When do I paraphrase vs. direct quote? Are citations different for one vs. the other?

Paraphrasing is a more difficult skill to master, and it will also show your professor that you are thinking critically at a higher level. A papers usually rely on paraphrasing more than direct quotations. Paraphrase when you are demonstrating the key ideas from an article and how it relates to your topic. Aim for direct quotations only the author's original words are so critically important, novel, or demonstrative that there is no other way to state their idea. 

Can a librarian assist with citations for an article?

Luckily, I am most familiar with APA style. I can help with APA citations, but the Writing Center is usually a better bet. I'll help you figure out the APA formula to cite journal articles and show you how to look things up in the APA Style Manual, but you will still need to build the citations yourself. 

What are some valid plagiarism checker websites?

The best defense against plagiarism is your understanding of ethical use of information and how and why to cite your sources. No AI plagiarism checker comes close, including Unicheck in Canvas. These plagiarism checkers both mark non-plagiarized sections as plagiarism and miss actually plagiarized sections (especially if you use a thesaurus to use technically different words for an idea/sentence that you didn't create). Professors use Unicheck as one tool to help them determine if plagiarism occurred, but it's not the only thing they look at. 

That being said, Grammarly has a free plagiarism checker that will give you a starting point to determine if there are any sections you need to look at. 

The Writing Center is another good defense against plagiarism. 

What’s the best resources to use to find research information?

Library databases, particularly the ones on this Guide. Ask Dr. Dasinger and the librarians. 

Are there any databases that you recommend to use when doing our research for this project?

SPORTDiscus, Scopus, ScienceDirect, and PML Search (which pulls together several databases at once).

How do we navigate to specific databases relevant to our topic?

Use the databases on this Guide and PML Search (main search box on the library website). Try multiple databases and multiple keyword searches. Ask the library for help if you get stuck. 

Where’s the line where it’s okay to use Wikipedia, and when is it not?

Wikipedia will never be your final source and you will never cite it in your paper. However, you can use Wikipedia as a brainstorming tool towards the beginning of your project for subtopics, keywords, and search ideas. You can also follow the citation trail and read the citations used by Wikipedia. 

How to pick from different articles?

Give yourself lots of time to narrow your articles down to a select few. I like to start with a broad net, saving anything that might be potentially useful, then go back and cut the least relevant articles. Read the abstract to get a good sense of the questions addressed in the article. Remember that research is like a puzzle. Some of your articles may address different components of your research topic, and you will need to figure out how to put them together. Look for relevant and quality articles, but don't get hung up on the "perfect" article. 

If a journal article is not peer-reviewed is it still safe to use in a research paper?

For this class and assignment, no. However, other professors may allow you to use different types of sources. If you ever have questions about peer-reviewed, ask the library. 

However, you can use sources that are not peer-reviewed for background information, potential keywords, and ideas!

Who do I ask about my peer-review article for this class?

All of your articles for this assignment will be peer-reviewed, academic, scholarly articles. Peer-reviewed articles are written by experts and reviewed by other experts. Ask the library if you need help finding or verifying peer-reviewed articles. 

What is the difference between primary and secondary academic journal articles?

Primary sources provide new scientific information. They do some kind of experiment to answer a question, such as a survey, observation, case study, or focus group. Primary sources deal with people. Secondary sources combine many different primary sources into a review or meta-analysis. Secondary sources deal with studies that already exist to see what themes appear. 

You will cite primary sources as your evidence for this assignment. However, you may look at secondary sources to help you find primary sources or potential subtopics. 

Sometimes research articles are difficult to understand. Do you have any tips to help break them down?

Yes! Use different ways to engage your memory and comprehension while reading these articles - take notes, teach the concepts to a friend, connect the concepts to what you already know, connect the concepts to other articles that you've read, and break it down by chunk. You can read these academic journal articles out of order. I find it most useful to read the abstract, introduction, and then skip to the end and read the conclusion. This will give you a good framework to understand the key points of the article. What was their question, what did they learn, and why does it matter?

How do I find library books in the UTM Library for my topic?

For this project, you will be largely using academic journal articles instead of books. Journal articles tend to be more specific, focused, and newer. However, if you would like to check out some books for background or keywords, use the limiters in PML Search to limit by source type to books or ebooks. 

When are the librarians available so people can ask questions?

Usually we have a librarian on the chat from 8am-8pm (and you can also talk to a librarian in-person during these hours) and a staff member from 8pm-midnight. If you don't get an immediate response, send us an email and we'll get back to you ASAP.