Answered By: Erin McDaniel
Last Updated: Jul 21, 2018     Views: 108

Hi Jana

I am happy to help! You're question is not at all naive. I understand it is daunting to go back to school, especially since everything is electronic now.

Regarding your writing assignment, you need 3-5 scholarly research articles. Including your son's interview could definitely add an interesting and first-person perspective, but it will not count as one of your article sources.

Not all of our databases proivde the peer-reviewed articles required for your assignment. I will point out which ones do, and walk you through conducting a search in two of them. I will show you how to get your citations, and will provide an easy-to-use website that provides tips on informative writing. This is a long answer, so bear with me.

Below I have linked to the Social Sciences tab in our Database libguide. This provides links to all the databases that will have good material for your paper. You will see a big box with lots of links. We only need to worry about a few. The ones with peer-reviewed articles are Academic Search Complete, Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection, and Proquest Research Library. The links are in alphabetical order. You click on the links to access the databases. If you are off campus, you will have to enter your 7-digit COM ID and your last name.

ADHD is a broad topic. You will find that you will need to narrow it down for your paper. What about ADHD do you want to write about? Keep that in mind as you look through articles. You might want to use your son's experience to libguide you, if you are going to include the interview.

Let's try Academic Search Complete. From the Social Sciences tab listed below, click the Acacemic Search Complete link. Log in if you are off campus. Once you get to the homepage, you will see just a search bar. Enter in you search term. You can try ADHD by itself, or maybe ADHD AND boys. The word AND is in all-caps to tell the database to search both terms. You can use that method for all of our databases if you want to search two terms. 

When you hit search, you will get a result list, probably with thousands of articles. We will narrow that down using the limiters on the left. First, put a check mark in the boxes for Full Text, References Available and Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals. This will ensure your articles meet the requirements from your teacher. Underneath that, you will see a publication date range. Use the sliding bar or type a new date into the box with the oldest date. You will want them to be no more than 5-7 years old.

If you scroll down, you will see a heading called Subject Thesaurus Term. Click that to see a short list of official subject terms. Under the short list, you will see a blue link that says Show More. Click that to get a box with all of the official subject terms included in the articles you found. Put check marks in the boxes next to the subjects that pertain to what you want to write. This is how you can begin to narrow down your topic.

The result list has the article title, a summary, and the Subject Terms. Use that info to determine if you want to look at the article. If you do, click the title to get into the detailed record, and the full text link at the left. It will say PDF and/or HTML.

If you want to use an article, use the tools on the right to get a citation. The citation icon is the one that looks like a yellow sheet of paper. When you click it, a box will open up that includes many citation styles. Look for the one you are using (APA or MLA) and copy and paste it into your Works Cited page. You can also save the article, print it, or email it to yourself. 

Below you will find a link to our libguide, How to Use Academic Search Complete. The tabs at the top will libguide you. The Basics & Save Time tabs show you how to search, narrow your results, and save, print and email yourself the articles. The Cite tab shows you exactly how to get an MLA and APA citation.

Next, we will search ProQuest. Go back to the Social Sciences tab linked below and click on the ProQuest link. You will see the search bar where you can enter your search term. Underneath that, you will see boxes for Full Text and Peer Reviewed. Check both of those. This database is a lot like the last one, except the limiters are on the right.

From your result list, you can click the + sign next to Subject to see a short list of offical subject terms. Click the More Options link to see them all, then check which terms to include. Dont' worry about the exclude column. The date range is at the very bottom. Use the scroll bar to get the date range (5-7 years old) that you want. 

If you click the title, you will see the abstract (summary) and below that, the actual article. Your tools to cite, print, email, etc. are at the top. When you click the Cite link, the default is APA style. If you are using MLA, use the drop-down menu at the top of the citation to change to MLA. Then copy and paste it into your Works Cited or Reference page.

I've included our libguide on How to Use Proquest Library below. It has the same info as the libguide for Academic Search Complete. Just use the tabs to navigate.

You can also use the other database I mentioned,  Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection. Use the same techniques as you used in Academic Search Complete.

If you want some resources on writing, Purdue Owl's The Writing Process and Common Writing Assignments are both linked below. Use the links on the home page and on the left to view the different sections.

Please feel free to contact me for more clarification. You can respond to this message, come to the library for one-on-one research help, or call me at 8471. My email is emcdaniel3@com.edu. I hope this helps! FYI, I edited the question so no one else could see your personal information.

Erin McDaniel

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