Application Exercises

Chapter specific application exercises will help you think about research design in practice or have you explore a relevant resource.

Exercise 1: APA Style

Under the heading “Primary Versus Secondary Sources” above, locate the referenced article “Sleep Duration and Mortality - Does Weekend Sleep Matter?” taken from the Journal of Sleep Research. Rewrite the citation so that it conforms to APA style.

Exercise 2: Comparing Primary and Secondary Sources

Locate the original Journal of Sleep Research and Washington Post articles on sleep cited above under the heading “Primary Versus Secondary Sources.” Carefully compare these two articles and answer the following questions:

  • What information in the original Journal of Sleep Research article is missing from the Washington Post article? What content, if any, in the Washington Post article cannot be found in the Journal of Sleep Research article?
  • Assuming the Washington Post article is written to help and inform parents, what writing techniques can you identify that are used to interest and motivate such readers and maintain their interest?

Exercise 3: Nonscholarly Sources and Fake News

Much of this chapter offers techniques and tips related to finding and evaluating scholarly sources. But the Internet also offers a vast range of non-scholarly content that may potentially contribute to a literature review or become a focus of a research project in its own right. The question arises of how to evaluate non-scholarly sources, particularly as “fake news” in the news reminds us to assess all sources of information critically.

What resources and services does your campus library offer to assist you with identifying problematic sources for your research?

Review the “Being Skeptical About Information, Especially Web Information” in this chapter and identify additional questions you might ask to help identify non-scholarly sources such as news sites as credible or not.

Hint: Scholars tend not to yell at each other in caps – LIKE THIS!!!!!!!

Exercise 4: Search Terms and Boolean Operators

Write down all of the search terms you might use to get a comprehensive listing of scholarly papers on social media.

Combine these search terms using Boolean operators to then focus your research on

  • Social media and youth
  • Social media and romantic relationships
  • Social media and public relations

Note that this is not just an exercise in Boolean operators; it is also an exercise in vocabulary. For example, social media may prove to be too broad a search term. What terms other than social media could you use to narrow your search? Note also that youth, romantic, and public relations all have analogous terms that might give you better or worse search results. For each of these three terms, identify an alternative word or words that you might substitute to narrow or expand your search.

Exercise 5: Writing a Literature Review

Search the Pew Research Center Internet, Science & Tech Project website——for the topic “elections and campaigns.” You will find a series of reports on U.S. elections for the years 2000 through 2016. Write a brief literature review summarizing how the role of the Internet and social media in U.S. elections has changed since 2000. Cite all sources correctly using APA style. For most years, you will find several different reports, so you will need to be selective in your reading and writing.