Jan 24 at 7:06pm
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To begin the trajectory of academic writing, there are some things that the writer should consider doing as part of the preparation for the final product. Searching for resources is not as simple as you might think. This type of research should be carefully worked through as you refine your sources to develop the intended outcome. As students at Liberty University, the Jerry Falwell Library will be the dominant research domain. The understanding of the resources available for your topic how to access the library’s wealth of knowledge and quickly and efficiently. Dr. Brian Pinzer offers some practical things as you begin researching a topic. Pinzer states that we need skilled in finding sources that we will be constantly using. The writer will need to under the purpose of what they are writing and carefully evaluate the quality of the sources being used. The information should include authority, credibility, reliability, and validity. This will build a strong foundation for your research. Make sure you are clear on what is being asked of you to develop; this will offer a direction of research. The final thought is to ensure that there is an understanding of language and symbols that will make this simpler than you think. Identify keywords on your topic and methodology. Use connecting words, the Boolean Operators, like ‘or,’ ‘and,’ and ‘not.’ Symbols, an asterisk *, quotation, “..” are helpful to narrow your research.
Journals, Books, and Dissertations are the resources I find myself using primarily. The things that should be considered in any of the three sources are as follows. The following are considerations that should be considered with every resource to add to the quality of the report.
· Currency – to use this, the writer would be able to ensure that the subject being reviewed is current and is continually evolving or has its relevance depleted to the point that the research has died out.
· Relevance – does the information support add to the research, is the information digestible to the readers.
· Accuracy – Is the source or author a reliable source? Is it peer-reviewed, can the data be confirmed through other sources, is the information biased.
· Authority – Who created the article, web page, or documents? Does the author have credentials, has the source been cited, and does the Author or Authors have the experience to be recognized as an authority?
· Purpose – Is there an obvious intended audience? Is there an obvious bias? What is the objective of the source and their works?
Jan 25 at 2:06pm
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Simorrah J. Majors
CLED830: Research Methods for Christian Leadership IV (B01)
Week 2: Researching Well
This week’s module familiarized students with the guidance and material needed to conduct proper research at the doctoral level. This process is a significant component in creating a literature review, which is chapter 2 of the upcoming dissertation. Building confidence in researching will allow students to navigate their study and research much easier, as well as encourage them to build more substantial content and, ultimately, a more robust dissertation. Dr. Pinzer (2024) explains that researching is a developed skill that will help students tremendously in their academic journeys. This researcher is looking forward to learning more in this area in order to become more comfortable with the Jerry Falwell Library and other academic websites.
Conducting Efficient Searches
This researcher had a basic understanding of conducting efficient searches for academic resources. While many students have used the Jerry Falwell Library, it is sometimes difficult to navigate, so this module has been very helpful. This researcher also took advantage of Liberty University (LU) librarians and workshops at the start of this academic journey which has proven very beneficial. Speaking with the librarian and attending library research workshops are encouraged as they save time and help you identify specific, credible resources from verified and peer-reviewed websites (Galvan & Galvan, 2017). To conduct an efficient academic search, the Jerry Falwell Library is an excellent place to begin for LU students. Beginning on the Jerry Falwell Library homepage, over on the right of the page, clicking on Browse all databases will provide access to specialized websites that can provide more focused information on a particular topic (Jerry Falwell Library, 2024).
There are three tools that students use to conduct a literature search: “(1) scanning the literature, (2) skimming potential works for content, and (3) mapping the suitable works for inclusion in the study” (Machi & McEvoy, 2021, p. 74). In the process of efficient scanning, this researcher tries to use advanced searches to obtain a breath of detailed, specific findings to be gathered simultaneously. Within the search parameters, this researcher will begin by identifying keywords, titles, authors, and content source types. From there, this researcher can sift through the results to find the most relevant sources for the research topic. This student would also take the time to exclude items from the search that are irrelevant to the topic. The use of the asterisk, “*,” and semicolon “;” and “AND” between keywords helps separate the search topics for a more collectively inclusive result. This advanced search process can be done within each database of the student’s choosing and is the primary method in which this researcher conduct efficient searches.
Source Types to Consider
When conducting research, this researcher considers the size of the needed reference list and proceeds to gather source types as needed. Source types to consider are books, articles, conference papers and proceedings, films, curriculum guides, theses, dissertations, reports, unpublished studies and published journals. Unpublished studies in academic journals may still have prevalent information, so it is worth considering when published study authors have some experience with the related topic (Galvan & Galvan, 2017).
Quality Sources in Literature Review
For quality sources, this researcher takes multiple steps to collect related, relevant sources for a research topic. Assessing quality sources begins in the search process, so the focus is geared toward academic libraries and official websites and organizations (Jerry Falwell Library, 2024). Research is usually most relevant when it is current, so this researcher typically looks at the release dates within the last five years. Quality sources supporting the foundational, landmark studies and theorists, on a topic can also add credence to the current source material (Galvan & Galvan, 2017). Published journals also have a layer of validation, as many journal reports are peer-reviewed.
Galvan, J. L., & Galvan, M. C. (2017).
Writing Literature Reviews: A Guide for Students of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (7th ed.). Routledge.
Jerry Falwell Library. (2024).
Beginning the Research Process [Film]. Liberty University.
Machi, L. A., & McEvoy, B. T. (2021).
The Literature Review (4th ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc. (US).
Links to an external site.
Pinzer, B. (2024).
Library Research – Finding the Right Sources [Film]. Liberty University.