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Conducting a Search of the Literature. Your First Writing Assignment. Your First Assignment. Search the literature on effects of physical attractiveness. Find 5-10 good references. Obtain the original works and save them on paper or in electronic format. Prepare an APA-Style Reference List.

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Conducting a search of the literature

Conducting a Search of the Literature

Your First Writing Assignment


Your first assignment
Your First Assignment

  • Search the literature on effects of physical attractiveness.

  • Find 5-10 good references.

  • Obtain the original works and save them on paper or in electronic format.

  • Prepare an APA-Style Reference List.

  • Due at 1 PM on Friday the 20th of May.

  • For more details, go here.


Outline of a literature search
Outline of a Literature Search

  • Read Chapter 6 in Martin.

  • Pose your question in plain English.

  • “What are the psychological effects of a person’s being physically attractive?”

  • Go to PsychInfo

  • Click on the video icon there for an introduction to PsychInfo.

  • Click on PsychInfo to enter.


Psychinfo thesaurus
PsychInfo Thesaurus




Narrowing the search
Narrowing the Search

  • The thesaurus gives you key words to use, later, in your search.

  • It may also help you narrow your search.

  • For example,

    • Effect of Clothing

    • Effect of Facial Features

  • Such narrowing of topic is often necessary.


New search physical attractiveness
New Search, Physical Attractiveness


Assorted tips
Assorted Tips

  • Searching for physical attractiveness targets any article with both the word physical and the word attractiveness.

  • This is identical to searching for physical and attractiveness.

  • Wild cards can be used – for example, attract* would target attractiveness, attraction, and so on.

  • Searching for “physical attractiveness” would target only pages with that exact phrase. I got 3,371 results.


Too many results
Too Many Results

  • 3,371 results ! Hmm, may need to narrow the search, eh?

  • Cursor over the magnifying glass, see the abstract.

  • Click the title to see more details.

  • Click “Find It” or “PDF Full Text” to obtain the full text of the article.

  • Very cool.



Wow !

  • We hit pay dirt here, 203 review articles.

  • Review articles can lead to many more good references

  • And help you relate your topic to current and past theories.


Add to folder
Add to Folder

  • You can add references to a folder by simply clicking on “Add to folder.”

  • Later you can apply an action to all of the references you have added to that folder.

  • Click on “Go to Folder View” to display the contents of the folder.

  • On the next slide, a folder with five references.



Relate two constructs
Relate Two Constructs

  • Your research is almost certainly going to involve the relationship between two or more constructs.

  • Search for articles that include one AND another TOPIC.

  • Try “Physical Attractiveness” and “Social Desirability.”

  • Try Physical Attractiveness and “Impression Formation.”


Play with it
Play With It

  • You cannot break it.

  • Play with it, you will learn lots of useful little tricks.


Use others reference lists
Use Others’ Reference Lists

  • Find a few recent articles on your topic of interest.

  • Look at the reference lists in these articles.

  • These lists should lead you to previously published articles on your topic.

  • This works best with review articles.


Do a citation search
Do a Citation Search

  • Find an older article that is cited by almost everybody publishing on your topic.

  • Search for all the articles that have cited that popular article.

  • See my online lesson on Conducting a Citation Search.


Prepare the apa style reference list
Prepare the APA-Style Reference List

  • See my Sample Papers .

  • See the APA’s Sample Paper .

  • See my Links to APA Style Resources .

  • Avoid these Common Errors .

  • The assignment is due at 1 PM on Friday the 20th of May


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