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DTS 320: Planning Your Research


Understand the Assignment

  1. Review the assignment sheet.
    • Do this as soon as you can.
    • Take your time to understand the goals of the assignment and what, exactly, you will need to deliver.
    • Make notes on the assignment sheet or in your calendar to highlight any areas you think you might struggle with. Try to determine any workarounds ahead of time (if possible).
    • Ask your professor if you have questions or concerns.
  2. Outline your goals for how you want to complete the project.
    • Example: Goal 1: find all information for describing my micronutrient. Goal 2: perform preliminary research to determine which aspect of my micronutrient I want to focus on. Goal 3: outline a rough draft. Goal 4: Determine which tools I will use to make the infographic, etc.
  3. Create a timeline with clear due dates for each goal.
    • Example: Choose a micronutrient and brainstorm possible research avenues by Wednesday. Find all peer-reviewed articles by Friday. Begin first draft on Tuesday. Practice Presentation on Friday, etc.
  4. Doing this at the beginning will ensure:
    • That you have given yourself enough time to successfully complete the project.
    • That you will not miss any major components of the assignment. 
    • That you will confidently complete the assignment in a focused and stress-free mindset. 

Understand your Research Needs

  1. What search terms or search phrases should you use?
    • Make a list of each term(s) or phrase(s) you think would be relevant to your research. 
    • Often, this will come from the assignment's requirements.
    • Keep track of which searches you have performed and how successful they were (or weren't).
      • This will be helpful if you have to do your research over the course of a few different dates/times.
  2. What Summon filter options should you select?
    • Review the assignment sheet to determine the type of sources you should use (for example, scholarly books versus peer-reviewed journal articles)
    • Review the assignment sheet to determine if a specific publication date range is required (for example, only results that were published within the last five years).
  3. What Discipline or Subject filters (in Summon) should you use? 
    • Remember to choose Diet & Nutrition from the Discipline field in Summon
    • Review the list of Subject Terms to find the related research to your specific needs.
  4. If you have not used Summon before, and are unfamiliar with the context of Steps 2 and 3 above, please review: 
    • The Finding Peer-Reviewed Sources tab above, which has a how-to video
    • The image below, which introduces you to a Summon results page and what you can expect to see there.

Understand Summon: What To Expect and How To Use It