As you embark on your career as a student, it is very likely that you will be asked to prepare papers or essays that require you to do “research” or to conduct a “literature review” on a particular topic.



Research Article Summary – Due October 7, 2020

As you embark on your career as a student, it is very likely that you will be asked to prepare papers or essays that require you to do “research” or to conduct a “literature review” on a particular topic. You may find information from many sources such as books, textbooks, government documents, the Internet, and periodicals such as magazines and academic journals. The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize you with research articles that are published in academic journals.

Academic journals are periodicals that are published on a regular basis and therefore contain the latest findings in specific fields. Academic journals generally contain two types of articles:

  1. Literature reviews provide an overview of the findings of research on a specific topic. They are secondary information sources because they report on the work of other people.
  2. Research articles report on the original research conducted by the author(s) of the article. Research articles are primary information sources that report on the original work of the authors. Authors will provide a description of the research questions that were being asked in the study (sometimes in the form of specific hypotheses), the sample and method used to gather data, the method of data analysis, and the findings and conclusions of the study. 

For this assignment you are required to prepare a summary of a research article published in an academic journal that reports on original research. You are free to choose research on any topic that is related to families. Journal of Family Issues, Family Relations, and Journal of Marriage and Family are journals that are commonly used to report on research in the field of family studies. These journals are available online through the University Library. However, you do not need to limit your search to these journals. Many other appropriate journals may be found by searching through the University Library. The limitation on your choice of articles is that it must have been published within the last five years. Make sure there is a methods section that describes how the authors conducted their research.

There are a few ways to search for journal articles. If you are not particular about the topic of the article that you summarize, you can simply browse through journals to pick an article. You can access journals online by going to the University Library homepage and searching by journal title. For example, you could type the title Journal of Family Issues and then explore the journal and select an article.

If you would like to summarize an article on a particular topic, you can search through the on-line databases available through the University Library I like to search for articles through EBSCOhost, because so many peer reviewed articles from academic journals are available through this database. You do not need to use this database, but it will help you get started if you are uncertain about the process. From the Libraries homepage, under "Find" click "Databases A-Z". Next, look under “E” for EBSCOhost Full Text. After you enter your ID and PIN number you will need to choose a database from within EBSCOhost. I always use “Academic Search Complete”, because it contains academic sources. Once you continue, you will be on the search page where you can search by topic. You can limit your search to peer reviewed journals from periodicals and you can also limit your search by date of publication. More information on searching for research articles is available through the University Library Finding an article will take some time. It is best not to leave this for too long.

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