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Ekstrom Library

CJ 325: Research Methods (Hayden): Searching Exercise

Searching Exercise


  1. Record your topic or research question here on our electronic bulletin board.  If at this point you don't have one, select a topic as a group (e.g. Parole, Community-Oriented Policing, or Victim Assistance).

  2. Write down potential keywords and other questions that come to mind when you think about your topic or research question.. 

  3. Using your keywords, search within Criminal Justice Abstracts to locate a scholarly article. Answer the questions below using the article..

Based on your source(s), respond to the following questions:

  1. Why did you select this source? What information is it providing you that is pertinent to exploring your topic or research question? 
  2.  Is this article a scholarly, peer-reviewed article? How do you know?
  3. Is the article a study? If so, does it use a quantitative or qualitative methodology? What was the sample size?
  4. Based on the abstract, describe the findings in one sentence.
  5. Go to the end of the literature review (if you can easily find it) and read how they describe their research as being unique or different or otherwise fitting in to the larger conversation this topic?

If you have extra time...

  1. If you were to continue searching, how has this source influenced your thinking on your topic? Write down some new keywords and questions related to your hypothesis that are drawn from your source.
  2. Test your keywords in PsycInfo, what differences do you notice about this database?
  3. Write down at least one challenge you encountered while searching for sources related to your hypotheses.