Step 1-A: Write down the research question you chose for Log #1. You have to stay with that topic and can’t change to another one.
Step 1-B: Write down the exact search statement you used in Log #1, without changes. There is no grade for Step 1.
Step 2-A: You have the choice of two databases to use in this project. They are both very good, general topic databases, and both will contain items that are popular and items that are scholarly. One of the goals of this project is for you to be able to select the scholarly items over the popular ones because the scholarly items are appropriate for university-level research. You are free to use either Academic Search Complete or MasterFILE Premier, but throughout the log, whenever you mention the database name, it must be written out completely and accurately. It is likely you will develop a liking for one or the other of these two databases and will tend to start your information searches with that database. Academic Search Complete is like that for me, and is my ‘go-to’ database to begin my work.
No matter which database you have chosen, the opening screen will show you three boxes at the top. You will put ONE ELEMENT of your search statement into each box. You will note how each of the three boxes is attached by the AND box. (The AND can be changed to OR or NOT if you want, but clicking the options arrow next to it.) So, for example, you might have “fast food” in the first box, and then type ‘children’ in the next box, and ‘fat’ in the third box. Or you might type ‘PTSD’ in the first box, and ‘veterans’ in the second box, and ‘treatment’ in the third box. What you put in each box depends on the search statement you had in your first log. Now input the search statement you used in Log #1 (and wrote down in step 1-B) into the three search boxes of the database you select. Click on the ‘search’ button and you will get the results of your database search.
Step 2-B: In this section you will answer three questions about your first trial search in the database. For each question, you click on the answer that reflects your experience. It is probably unlikely that you get no results from your search, but they may be slim results or not excellent results. But feel free to experiment with your search statement and try different things to see what differences you get.
The last part of this step of the log asks you to look at a few of the articles you get as results of your search. Look at the words used in the titles of the articles. Many of the scholarly articles will have ‘abstracts,’ which are short summaries of the articles. Read a couple of these. Start reading the beginning paragraphs of a few of the articles that sound interesting. At the end of the articles find the ‘subject headings’ and note what subjects are used. From all of this, try to come up with additional words or terms that you could use in your search statements, and put those in the box given for that purpose.
The last thing in this step is to come up with a REVISED SEARCH STATEMENT. The goal is to improve your statement from the effort you made in log #1. Review the comments made in log #1 about errors or omissions, think about adding more terms or better terms, make sure you are showing that you know how to use phrase searching with quotation marks and truncation. Show that you can put your Boolean operators in capital letters and you…