How to Find What You NeedGraduate study culminates in an independent research study, a capstone project. In the many stages before that, you will immerse yourself in ideas, information, and research.Today, people face a glut of information. A graduate student is challenged to choose information that is reliable, informative, and scholarly. Accurate information is critical to reaching educated conclusions, making the best choices, and communicating more effectively. But such information is not always readily available, especially in the ever-changing digital information environment. Strong literacy information skills are imperative to searching and evaluating information in a scholarly environment.The resources you will be asked to find during your courses will primarily be scholarly, peer-reviewed source materials, such as journal articles. Information from non-reviewed sources may be useful for background. However, non-reviewed sources can contain serious errors and often lack depth. Information from a non-reviewed source should be critically evaluated and – as a rule of thumb – should not be cited in scholarly writing. Examples of non-reviewed materials include Wikipedia, magazines, textbooks, self-help books, popular press articles, and websites that appear to be biased regarding a particular controversial issue. Note, however, that the library holds many professionally reviewed encyclopedias that cover general and specific topics. These encyclopedias are excellent places to begin exploring a topic of interest.The Northcentral Library has extensive holdings in your field, and our librarians stand ready to help you find what you need. Searching a virtual library, of course, doesn’t involve file cards and browsing stacks of books and articles. Rather, you’ll need to use specific skills to search the library, and to evaluate the information you find. In this activity you will become familiar with how to recognize scholarly sources and how to access appropriate resources in your field of interest within the Northcentral Library.Review the resources listed in the Books and Resources area below to prepare for this week’s assignments.Complete the following Spotlight on Skills if you need assistance with the tools used to complete your assignments.Skills Builder 1: Information LiteracyReview the Northcentral Information Literacy Tutorial to become familiar with information literacy, and to test your information literacy skills. Keep notes on the important points you discover there; these will be useful both in preparing assignments in this course, and in your other coursework here at Northcentral.Skills Builder 2: Searching the LibraryThe Library offers a wealth of databases for you to choose from in finding scholarly information, along with tutorials on how to effectively search these databases (not understanding how to search effectively is a time waster!). Usually, you’ll want to find resources that are up to date, and are available in full text form, not just abstracts.View the Northcentral Search like an Expert tutorial to find out how to get started in Library searching.Skill Builder 3: Thinking About an Area of Professional InterestWhether you are entering the program with a specific area of interest in mind, or are looking to be inspired, by the end of your program you will become an expert in a particular area and demonstrate that expertise through a capstone project.You have time to explore topic areas, so don’t feel pressured to come up with one in this course! Now is the time, though, to begin exploring topics that interest you. The sooner you identify a topic, the more time you have to read in the area and learn about the issues, debates, unresolved questions, theories, problems, challenges, and even appropriate research methods and designs.For information about current business topics, explore the Harvard Business School Working Knowledge site: Research and Ideas. Havard Business School Working Knowledge – The Thinking that Leads.And, see this library tutorial for tips and guidance on selecting a topic:Northcentral Finding a Research Topic.Books and Resources for this Week:WebsitesReferenceInstructionNorthcentral Finding a Research Topic. Northcentral University. WebsiteNorthcentral Search like an Expert. Northcentral University. WebsiteResearch and Ideas. Harvard Business School. WebsiteDocument/OtherReferenceInstructionActivity 4 Foundations Feedback SheetCoversheetActivity4.docx.docxUse to Complete ExercisesNorthcentral Information Literacy Tutorial. Northcentral University. TutorialActivity DescriptionFor this assignment, you will conduct a library search for resources in your area of professional or research interest. Locate three peer-reviewed journal articles, one book chapter, and one scholarly resource (website or other resource). Then, prepare a brief paper on your library search and your results. First, fill out this chart and for each resource include the following:•Appropriate citation (APA form) for the resource you discovered.•Name of the database you used.•Keywords you used.•Any search limiters such as full text, date, peer-reviewed that you used.•A note about your skills at this point in using the database from which you accessed the resource; what do you still need to practice?PLEASE NOTICE that the chart shown above is an example of the fields you can fill out. Please create your chart using Word. The chart included in here is not downloable or interactive.Then, conclude your assignment with some general remarks that comment on:•How useful was each database for you?•What important journals, key scholars, or new ideas did you discover from your search?•How might a library search spark new ideas? As you searched did you find new ideas or new directions for your search? Did the direction your search take you surprise you?Length: Completed chart and 1 page reflection paperYour paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your paper should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Review APA Form and Style.Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy. View the Northcentral Academic Integrity Tutorial to refresh your knowledge of how to achieve academic integrity.

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