Assignment #3

Developing Your Research Question& Search Strategy

DUE: November 1


Part 1: Practice search process:

Practice research question: How does violence on television news shows effect children?

This question can be divided into the following three concepts: 1) violence; 2) television news; 3) children

For each of these concepts, the following search words (shown in a "search worksheet") might be used for searching:

#1: television news; TV news

#2: violence; violent

#3: children; kids; youth

Do a search for articles related to this research question in the InfoTrac Expanded Academic ASAP database following the directions: Using the Advanced Search Mode on Skyline Library Periodical Databases

In the Advanced Search mode, enter the following search words (exactly as shown, including ORs & *) in each entry box:

First entry box: television news OR TV news

Second entry box: violen*

Third entry box: child* OR kids OR youth

1a. Show the number of hits (records found) for your search: 

1b. Select 1 article on this research question.
Copy the full citation of the article (including author, title, periodical title, date & pages, NOT the abstract or full text) to this assignment:


Part 2: Researching your own topic: "Search Preparation":
Collecting Background Info, Developing Research Question, Identifying Search Terms

Starting with the general topic you chose for your initial search in Assignment #2, try to focus in on a more specific aspect that you might be interested in researching.

Based on your preliminary searches in Assignments #1 and 2:

  • identify more specific aspects that you could use to narrow your topic; and
  • list any useful subject headings or key words that could be used in further searching.

2a. Based on your preliminary searches in Assignments #1 and 2, develop a research question that includes two to four concepts. (See Developing a Research Question.) Write out your research question:

2b. Identify two to four concepts in your research question:

2c. Organize your search terms for each concept of your research question using a search worksheet (as shown in the "Search Strategy" reading) including additional search words (if appropriate) for each concept.
For example: x

Concept #

Search Terms



television news

TV news













Part 3: Researching your own topic: "Search Strategy"

*3. Use the InfoTrac Expanded Academic ASAP database:

3a. Show the exact search words (including Boolean connectors) you typed in each entry box for each search you do.
For example:
television news OR TV news               [AND]
violen*                                                           [AND]
child* OR kids OR youth


3b. Show the number of hits (records found) for each search you do:

Select 2 articles on your research question. Try to find articles that present two different perspectives on your question, if possible.

3c. Copy the full citations of the two articles you selected (including author, title, periodical title, date& pages, NOT the abstract or full text) to this assignment.

3d. At the full record for each of the two articles you selected, highlight the full URL (this is a very long web address) for this article, copy it (using the Copy command) and paste it to this assignment:

4. In the process of your research, you may chose to revise your research question, based on the information you find.
If you decided to revise your research question, please write your new (current) research question.



*E-mail: your completed assignment to:


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last revised: 11-1-05 by Eric Brenner, Skyline College, San Bruno, CA

These materials may be used for educational purposes if you inform and credit the author and cite the source as: LSCI 106 Online Research. All commercial rights are reserved. Send comments or suggestions to: Eric Brenner at