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HMEC 2000 Course Guide: Locating Relevant Sources

Facilitating and Guiding Students' Learning ...

Where to begin?

Step 1:  Make sure that you have carefully read the course syllabus & Assignment #1 Sheet.  Review "Understanding What You Are Developing and Constructing" under Assignment #1 tab. 

Step 2:  Review the determinants of health you came across from the course lectures and readings.  Brainstorm what area or aspect of the determinants of health you want to focus for this paper.  You might want to select the area/aspect of the determinants of health that is associated with your field of study.

Step 3: Think strategically how you want to focus your area of interest, e.g., a certain age or ethnic group, health promotion related to a certain sickness or a social issue such as obesity, or health awareness related to nutrition or daily physical activity, etc. There are many ways that you can identify your area of interest. 

Step 4: Think strategically what kind of information you want to gather.  What kind of analysis are you prepared to do in the paper? The requirement for Assignment #1 is compare-and-contract analysis.  Prepare and develop some system for information gathering.  Refer to Analyzing Your Sources for an example.  Also remember to go over how to organize your paper.  It helps you to think what to gather strategically for your paper.

Step 5: Construct your potential search stragegies based on your keywords.

  • You can go back and forth between Step 3, 4, 5, until you can find an appropriate area of interest that you can locate specific studies.  These activities should help you develop an outline of your paper and it should guide you what kind of souces you will gather.  Remember the focus in your paper should be demonstrated in your thesis statement.  Your thesis statment hinges upon the kind of organization (outline) your paper will develop.
  • You can initially work with your tentative keywords.  As you browse and screen potential sources, you can revise or tweak your keywords until you are locating enough ingredients/sources that help you develop your paper.
  • Warning!  For an undergraduate paper like the one you are currently working, the assigned time to work on it is short.  Remember that you CANNOT keep on going exploring your perfect focus.  Be strategical and purposeful in developing focus, coherence, organization and demonstrate that you are integrating relevant sources.

Constructing Your Search Strategy

Construct your Search Strategies Using Boolean Operators:

1) List your potential keywords reflecting your topic.

(e.g., elderly, older adults, seniors, aging, caregivers, burden)

2) Cluster all synonyms by stringing related keywords with "OR" operators.

(e.g., elderly OR older adults OR seniors OR aging)

3) String rest of the keywords

(e.g., caregivers AND burden and elderly OR older adults OR seniors OR aging)

Many databases allow you to break down into manageable parts; for example, I can break into the above sarch into two parts:

caregivers AND burden

[AND] eldelry OR older adults OR seniors OR aging

Let's review the use of boolean logic using AND, OR, and NOT operators for constructing potential search strategies.

AND, OR, NOT Operators


How to Search, Browse & Select Relevant Sources Using One Stop Search


Search library resources (articles, books and more) using One Stop Search:


Search Summon for articles, books, & more


Caution: Automatically Generated Citations - One-Stop-Search

As Asako demonstrated in the class, you can save selected items in One-Stop-Search and produce citations automaticaly in APA Style. (See Browse Step 3). However, it's always a good practice to double check the accuiracy of the citations.  The automatically generated citations may be not accurate due to some mistakes in the publisher's record or technical glitches, not reading the record accurately.  Please review the citations with the following points in mind:


Author names should be formatted last name first followed by a comma, first name (or first initial followed by a period), and middle initial followed by a period. Each entry must be separated by a semi-colon.

Book Titles

Books Titles are in italics. Capitalize only the first word of the title and of the subtitle, if any, and any proper nouns.

Journals, Magazines and Newspapers

Journal, Magazine and Newspaper titles are in italics.

Volume number is in italics. Issue numbers are not required if the journal is continuously paged. If paged individually, the issue number is required and is in regular type in parentheses adjacent to the volume number.

Use the article's DOI (Digital Object Identifier), the unique code given by the publisher to a specific article. Use the journal's home page URL (or web address) if there is no DOI. This may require a web search to locate the journal's home page. There is no period at the end of web address. Break a long URL before the punctuation.

Article Retrieved from an Online Database with DOI

Senior, B., & Swailes, S. (2007). Inside management teams: Developing a teamwork survey instrument. British Journal of Management, 18, 138-153. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8551.2006.00507.x

Article Retrieved from an Online Database without a DOI

Koo, D. J., Chitwoode, D. D., & Sanchez, J. (2008). Violent victimization and the routine activities/lifestyle of active drug users. Journal of Drug Issues, 38, 1105-1137. Retrieved from

Book Example:

Thomas, G. I., & Crescimbeni, J. (1966).Guiding the gifted child.New York, NY, US: Random House.