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Child Development Research Guide

A guide for conducting research in the Child Development program

Starting out: search terms

Below is a list of some sample search terms and phrases that can be used to find general background information when choosing a topic. Such terms can be used on their own or combined with others to discover topics that may interest you. For example, use two phrases in an advanced search to narrow your results: motor development AND autism would be a good starting point for researching motor development in people with autism.

If you find far too many search results even after combining search terms, try altering and/or adding some terms. In the example above, I found over 30,000 results- but when I changed my search and added a third phrase (motor development AND autism AND toddlers), I narrowed my results to just over 4,500.

Having a hard time choosing a topic? Use the Random Research Topic Generator to think of topics, and check out Subjects in Child Development below for more ideas.


Picking a Topic

Guide to Sources

IS THIS THE RIGHT SOURCE? TYPES OF SOURCES AND WHAT THEY CAN DO FOR YOUR RESEARCH  PRIMARY SOURCES These are original materials that have not been interpreted  or analyzed.  They can be used as evidence in your research. Primary Source
Examples: Newspaper, Photographs, Data, Journal articles , Letters or diaries, Speeches , Novels or poems and more! SECONDARY SOURCES These sources are not first hand accounts , but rather analysis or discussion of events after they have happened or after a primary source was created. Secondary Sources can provide further evidence and support your argument. Secondary Source
Examples: Encyclopedias, Histories, Literary Criticism, Review Articles, Literature Review, Research Paper, and more! TERTIARY SOURCES These are collections of primary and secondary sources and do not have critical analysis or interpretation. Tertiary sources help you locate other sources and information. Tertiary Source Examples:
Bibliographies, Directories, Indexes, Manuals, Finding Aids, And More! NEED MORE HELP? ASK A LIBRARIAN! Visit the Research Help Desk Mon.-Thurs. (10-7pm), Fri. (10-1pm), Sun. (1-5pm)
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