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Graduate Research

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Graduate Research

Research is a critical component of graduate studies and your coursework. Review the tabs above to access information about conducting research, finding and evaluating resources, research management, research methodology eBooks, and research support options from the Rasmussen College Library. Scroll down to watch video tutorials with a complete overview of the research process.

 

 

The research practices you used as an undergraduate student will provide a useful base or framework; however, graduate research expands upon these practices in several ways:

  1. You will read, evaluate, and analyze literature -- often conducting literature reviews to gain a full and complete understanding of the seminal scholarly works or studies in your discipline, or the topic you are studying.
  2. You will think critically about the resources you are finding and using for your research. It is not acceptable to use a smattering of random articles or other resources. The evaluation of each resource will be critical, as these previous studies and resources will help inform and guide your research.
  3. You will no longer find resources and simply summarize them, rather find your credible sources, read them, make sure you understand them, and then analyze the sources in order to uncover gaps in the literature, and the work done before you.
  4. These gaps may help you define your original research question or problem.
  5. Your research question or problem will help to determine applicable qualitative and quantitative research approaches or methods you may wish to use.
  6. You are now the scholar, standing on the shoulders of giants who came before you.
  7. Your research and original work will contribute to the body of knowledge within your field or discipline.
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Research management includes three tasks:

  1. Gather and select credible, high quality resources
  2. Organize selected sources to avoid duplication and assist with synthesis, analysis, and writing
    1. Track or record database searches – to avoid duplicating efforts, and to assist with locating additional information
    2. Establish a note-taking system - create your own system, or options are available in NoodleTools and APA Academic Writer
  3. Citation management to avoid unintentional plagiarism, to give credit to the authors of your sources, and to lend credibility to your own work
    1. Choose a citation management tool (NoodleTools or APA Academic Writer are supported by Rasmussen College Librarians) or develop your own approach using the APA Guide for citation information and examples
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Research Tutorials

Research Questions and Hypotheses

Learn how to ask precise research questions and formulate clear hypotheses, including how to construct different types of questions and hypotheses, address the differences between correlation and causation, provide clear definitions for terms, and understand when to accept or reject a hypothesis. This is the second video in the Introduction to Research series.

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.

Research Strategies and Variables

Learn about research strategies and variables, including the design choices a researcher must make when constructing an experiment, along with the implications of those choices for the types of variables examined; the causal and noncausal relationships between variables; data analysis; study design; study setting; and study validity, generalizability, and reproducibility. This is the third video in the Introduction to Research series.

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.

The Sample

Learn about the sample of research participants, including how to describe the characteristics of a sample, ensure sample representativeness, understand different types of sampling methods, select an appropriate sample size, assess sample bias, assign participants to treatment and control groups, and account for the effects of attrition. This is the fourth video in the Introduction to Research series.

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.

Confounding Variables and Their Control

Learn about confounding variables and how to control them, including how they function in the contexts of the participants; the experimenter; the stimuli, procedures, or situation; the instrumentation; and covariates. This is the fifth video in the Introduction to Research series.

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.

Research Designs and Threats to Internal Validity

Learn about research designs and their threats to internal validity, including the areas of descriptive research, preexperimental research, and experimental and quasi-experimental research. This is the sixth video in the Introduction to Research series.

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.

Criteria and Criterion Measures

Learn how to select appropriate criteria and valid and reliable criteria measures, including for the independent variable and the dependent variable and taking into account properties of different tests and measures and rating scales. This is the seventh video in the Introduction to Research series.

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.

Analyzing Data and Drawing Conclusions

Learn how to conduct the final phase of the research process, including how to analyze, interpret, and present data; discuss the findings; and draw conclusions. This is the eighth video in the Introduction to Research series.

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.

How to Find Reliable Sources

Learn how to find reliable sources to use in your academic papers, including how to search for sources, evaluate sources, and organize sources with a reference management system.

Academic Writer

© 2016 American Psychological Association.

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