Information Literacy and Database Search Activity

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Assignment 1: Information Literacy and Database Search Activity

Literature reviews are based on the identification and analysis of various academic journal articles related to a research topic. Since you will be completing a review of the literature as a major project in this course, it is important for you to develop and improve your information literacy skills, as well as your database search skills.

Information literacy, the ability to locate, evaluate, and use information effectively, is a core skill in being a successful doctoral student.

The goal with this activity is to encourage students to read critically, reason analytically, and to turn the selected information into relevant knowledge for a specific topic.

With this context in mind and considering your initial research topic, use the key words of your preliminary research questions to begin your search of the online databases for related research articles.

In your search, locate at least four empirical research journal articles related to your topic and questions. Try to identify empirical research articles, based on different designs (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods design), though if that is not possible, just find empirical articles. [See APA, p. 10 for brief definitions of empirical articles, also defined in Creswell (2009), p. 4, and Fink (2010)].

Include in your introductory paragraph your purpose for writing this paper; this can be a simple statement of your strategies for this database search.

For example, a sample purpose statement for this assignment might look like this:

The purpose of this assignment is to describe the strategies used to navigate the databases, discuss the findings of the search process concluding with an identification of four relevant sources related to the initial research question.

Include a mapping statement following the purpose statement that briefly lists the key points sequentially of how you intend to organize the body of your paper. You can use the elements outlined in the assignment grading criteria as a guideline to create your mapping statement.

For example,

This paper will discuss the online library databases that were used and search strategies using Boolean connectors with the keywords that met with the best results. Results of the Proquest Digital Dissertations and Thesis database search will also be discussed, concluding with the identification of four scholarly articles that relate specifically to the previous questions.

Following the mapping statement, structure the remaining paper around the elements listed in the grading criteria below. It is important that you address all elements of the grading criteria.

Using the grading criteria elements to organize the content will help in structuring the paper logically and ensure completeness of your submissions.

By the due date assigned, complete this part of the assignment and post your responses in a 1-2 page Word document as an attachment to the Submissions Area.

Name your file W7000_M2_A1_lastname_firstinitial.doc.

All written assignments and responses should follow APA style in formatting and attributing sources.

Please make sure you review the elements of the grading criteria and associated points carefully and make sure your assignment has addressed all the elements and in enough detail to merit full points.

Module 2 Overview

Presented a quote by C. G. Jung, Provides the learning outcomes on which the readings and assignments for this module are based.
  • Apply research skills to access and evaluate scholarly information resources to assess their quality and credibility (reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, point of view, and bias).
  • Analyze and synthesize scholarly literature in critiquing different research genres.
  • Engage in ethical scholarship and utilize appropriate citation and referencing skills associated with dissertation and scholarly writing to avoid plagiarism/matching text.

Completion of a dissertation is a process of scholarly inquiry requiring extensive exploration of the literature and using relevant sources to support your research question or hypothesis. A crucial foundational skill needed for this pursuit is information literacy, which is the ability to locate, evaluate, and use information effectively. How do you find scholarly sources, particularly those related to your research topic draft? If you have completed your master’s degree more than 10 years ago, you will find that the Internet is an amazing source of journal articles and related information. For instance, Google is often used as a primary search engine in order to seek information for our topic. With the ever-expanding pool of information, it is important to critically evaluate the sources and identify the best ones suited for your purpose. Not all sources may be created equally. Some may be current and reliable while others may be outdated and misleading.

Based on the topic identified in Module 1, think of what you already know about the topic and considering the potential questions you have developed, and what additional aspects you would like to explore. Think of effective keywords or combinations of words that could get you the information you seek. Your questions should also provide you with some keywords to start with. Explore the different databases available to you to find your answers. Try not to limit yourself to familiar databases. Reach out of your comfort zone and explore the unknown. You may be surprised at what you find!

The guidelines provided in this module on database searching and the related assignment based on your research topic will definitely increase your information literacy skills.

As you will discover, much of your research and coursework at Argosy University requires you to read and critique academic journal articles. In this module, you will also begin working towards the major project in this course—a review of the literature. Your literature review will be based on the draft of your research topic from Module 1 and developed by creating a synthesis of existing studies and articles relevant to your topic. To help you towards that process, you will begin critiquing articles relevant to your topic. Critiquing journal articles requires that you use your critical-reading, critical-thinking, and critical-writing skills to summarize and discern the strengths and weaknesses of written research. To get an initial shared understanding of the expectations of an article critique, you will work on one common article provided to you in the Discussion Area.

Previous Argosy students found it beneficial to write critiques at the beginning of their doctoral programs, and later, the detailed and specific feedback received from their instructors helped them become better writers.

Assignment 1 Grading Criteria

Maximum Points

Stated a minimum of one relational research question and used the key words from the variables in the research question.


Discussed additional key words obtained from the thesaurus related to your variables in your research questions.


Named two databases and explained clearly your reason for choosing the two databases and described what you learned from one database tutorial


Explained Boolean logic, and illustrated using this logic iwith a specific example related to your research topic and question,


Examined the Proquest Digital Dissertations and Theses related to your research topic and question and clearly explained the results.


In the final paragraph, identified four journal empirical research articles related to your research topic and question. Introduced each source in the author (date) format, and explained briefly (not more than 2-3 sentences/article) their relevance to the proposed research questions. Included the type of article selected (quantitative, qualitative, mixed-method).


Created a Reference page and listed the four articles in accurate and complete APA format. (Include titles of articles only on the reference page, not in the text)


Displayed accurate grammar, spelling, punctuation, and APA Style.




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