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Economics: ECON 4822

Designed to support students and researchers for Economics

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Guide Your Project!

Your Project Log

You will be engaging in a 7-month long project.  Keep a project log to monitor and keep up with your project. You can start with writing down your first impression or reflection of what is being asked to do in the course.  You can write the log periodically to jot down your immediate plan, what you want to achieve, what you actually did, next steps, and reflective notes as you work on the project.   You can also break down the project activities in the context of the due dates assigned.  You can use any tool such as your Microsoft Office suite, Google calendar, Google Keep, Evernote, or a paper notebook. 

Your research project consists of Module 1, Module 2 and Module 3.  Module 2 and 3 involve data identification and statistical analysis for your project.  Module 1 sets the stage for your project by framing your research question and identifying variables that would address the question.

Searching Steps & Tips:

Searching Tips 

Contextualizing Your Research (Module 1):

Without a clear research question pinned down for your project, you will soon experience a roadblock to carrying out your research.  To cultivate your research trajectory, you need the time to develop and shape your research question that will facilitate empirical analyses down the road.  Then, you can explore potential research questions based on the dataset you identified.

A literature review is a critical component of introducing your research in the final paper.  Therefore, in preparation for the literature review section, you will start identifying the sources that help contextualize what you are trying to do in your research. 

 

To begin your literature search:

  1. Brainstorm your keywords.
  2. Before you search, log in to the Library System.
  3. Structure your search(es) using AND and/or OR operators.  [See Diagram]
  4. Browse and screen the results.
  5. Limit your results by Resource Type, Subject, Publication Date, etc. using the left-column faucets.
  6. Repeat the above steps with a new, revised search strategy, if necessary.

[Diagram]

https://sites.google.com/a/onalaskaschools.com/tech/boolean-search-tools

  • Save searches or selected items to facilitate your research project.
  • Make lots of notes for selected sources.
  • When you get a good sense that you are shaping a research question, meaning you know what you are trying to do in your project, you might be ready to gather your sources in Zotero.

Literature Review

While browsing and reading research articles, you will see many examples of how literature reviews are undertaken in various research articles.  Examine them. 

Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review will guide you with various aspects and steps involved in doing a literature review.

[Pautasso, M. (2013).  Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review.  PLoS Computational Biology, 9(7), e1003149. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003149]

Gathering Information From the Literature

The Literature Review section of your paper would synthesize what you found in the literature to frame your research.  Situating your specific research question in the Economics literature would help give professional validity to your work.

While searching and exploring your sources, take notes from your selected sources.  Your careful notes subsequently guide you to write up a draft literature review.  Here are useful tips about note-taking:

 

  • Effective Economics Reading
  • Active Note-Taking:
  • Think about what you want to get from your reading and why you are making notes – how much detail do you need to read, and how much detail is needed in your notes?
  • Look for answers to the questions you need to address: are you looking for definitions, examples, or debates/theories?
  • Look for connections between what the current text says and anything you have already read: do the authors agree? Disagree? Is there a sequence of events/actions to comment on?
  • Try to make most of your notes in your own words – factual information may only be phrased in a limited number of ways, but explanations of what something says or means will be best done in your own words so you can understand the meaning.
  • Keep any direct quotes short, and ensure they have a purpose: use the exact words when the author explains it is as significant as what the author says.

(Source:  Note taking from reading from University of Nottingham)

Common Note-Taking Tools:

  • OneNote (Microsoft Office for Windows)
  • WORD (Microsoft Office)
  • Notepad (Windows) and Notes (Mac)
  • Evernote (http://www.evernote.com)
  • a dedicated notebook with a pen or pencil

Managing Your Sources

Citation Management Tool

  • To organize and manage your sources
  • To help you write a paper with in-text citations.
  • To help you create a bibliographer based on all the in-text citations you included.

 

Zotero

When you conduct research, you want to keep track of your sources you selected and manage them so that you can create in-text citations and a bibliography to include in your research paper.  Zotero is an open-source citation management tool.  The tool like Zotero is priceless when you are dealing with a large number of sources for your research in a specified citation style, such as APA style.   You can download Zotero Standalone desktop client and set up your Zotero account to manage your sources and compile in-text citations and a bibliography. 

See Zotero LibGuide for more information about setting up your Zotero account and useful resources.

Alternatively, you can use Zoterobib to compile in-text citations and a bibliography without creating your account or database.

Understanding APA Style:

There are a number of useful sources for you to learn or review APA Style.

 

Contact Information

Profile Photo
Jenna Glidden
Contact:
Elizabeth Dafoe Library
(204) 474-6593
Subjects: Economics