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Wellesley College Research Guides

PSYC 310R: Research Methods in Social Psychology: In Class Activities

1. Consultations

Click the button below to make an appointment with me to chat about finding sources or citing them.

2. What feels challenging about research or reading scholarly articles? What strategies will you share? Complete this JamBoard and I will update after class!

3. Strategizing your topic before searching for articles

4.Tips on how to read scholarly articles


Image from Western Oregon University Hamersly Library showing examples and definitions of primary, secondary and teritiary sources


5. Search in a database

Search Tips:
When searching in a database, spelling matters! Image illustrating Venn diagrams for the Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT

  • Unlike search engines, a database will not correct your typos and spelling mistakes. 
  • If you get zero results, first check that you spelled your keywords correctly.

Use quotation marks for phrase searching

  • If you are searching for multiple words or a phrase, like social media, put those words within a set of quotation marks in the search box. 
  • If you search social media, instead of "social media" most databases will search social and media as separate keywords

Use truncation to search for various endings

  • aka “wildcards” - often a * at the end of a word (check the database)
  • Use in place of letters - psych* for psychology; psychologist; psychiatric

Other factors:

  • Use Boolean Operators to connect your search terms.
  • Plural and singular nouns usually do not matter. 
  • Capitalization usually does not matter. 
  • Spaces between letters or words might matter. 
  • Especially in acronyms or the names of medication or viruses or molecules or organisms
  • Bowerbird vs “Bower Bird” both are valid terms and return results in database

Flipped Resources for after the Library session