Week 2: Digesting the Material


Digesting scholarly sources, such as research articles, can be very challenging.  The tables provided in this week’s Books and Resources are great tools to help you learn this skill.  The more resources you read, the harder it might become to remember key information.  A table can act as a quick reference.  In addition, as you fill out each box for each resource, you begin to visualize and internalize the patterns of systematic research efforts.  You may see certain links between concepts, gaps in terms of methodology, or recommendations for future research efforts that might suggest a feasible and worthy topic area for your study.

This assignment will help you learn how to read scholarly sources and pull out relevant information. In addition, the readings this week expand on how to best search the literature and store all of your collected resources.  You will quickly find that organization is key as you delve further into the literature.

Note: Within the weekly Books and Resources, you will find a Word version and Excel version of the table to use to complete your assignment. Begin by downloading whichever file is easier for you to use.

Last week, you identified 2 to 3 potential topics of interests related to your degree field and type.  This week, you will narrow that down to only 2 potential topics (if you haven’t already).

For this assignment, find and read 3 to 5 scholarly sources for each topic.  As you read the sources, fill in the related table sections.  If you find you are having trouble completing any section of the table, remember, your faculty member is available to help!

The downloaded file from this week’s Books and Resources must be completed and submitted as your assignment.

Length: Completed Word or Excel table with 3-5 sources for each of your two potential topics, plus title and reference pages.

Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course by providing new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.



Searching the Literature and Learning How to Digest Scholarly Sources

In preparation for your future research, it is important to conduct a thorough and comprehensive literature search so that you may identify as many sources as possible that are relevant to your topic. The literature review is a crucial part of the research process. In this course, the comprehensive literature review offers you an overall context of the state of the research for your given topic area.

At this stage, your literature search is exploratory, allowing you to hone the focus of your area of interest. Having completed an exhaustive review of the literature will also allow you to identify potential areas of inquiry for your research. Finally, the literature review will increase your understanding of the key concepts and theories in the field. The goal is to help you become an informed consumer of research, so that you may take the next step and become a creator of knowledge by completing your dissertation.



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