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Radiographic Procedures 2 Collaborative Learning Project Guide

This guide collects information and resources for the Collaborative Learning Project in Radiographic Procedures 2.

Intro to Research (Wrapping your head around the research portion of this project)

This 13-minute informal video talks you through:

0:00-1:00 - What is research and why we do we do it? 
1:00-3:00 - Kinds of information sources and your research purpose
3:00-3:15 - Guiding questions to keep in mind as you research
3:15-4:00 - Taking notes as you go
4:01-4:27 - Starting with your textbook
4:28-5:30 - General background resources on the guide and why to start here
5:30-5:50 - Recommended scholarly resources
5:50-6:50 - Starting to search (Health and Medicine (Gale OneFile) database is demonstrated)
6:50-7:10 - Adding search terms (advanced searching)
7:10-7:30 - Limiting results by date
7:30-8:40 - Understanding results lists
8:40-9:30 - Looking at an article
9:30-10:10 - Options for saving and citing articles (grabbing ready-made APA citations to save you time)
10:10-11:15 - One option for taking notes and keeping your sources organized
11:15-13:10 - Encouragement, final comments, and ways to reach out for help with research

Why do research?

The research portion of this project is your opportunity to learn all you can about your topic. Your "big picture" goal is to gather information about why and how to perform your assigned radiographic procedure so that you can convey accurate information through your writing and presentation. To do that, you will need to search in variety of resources, keep track of the information sources you find, and synthesize that information in a way that makes sense. It's super important to understand a topic before you can write about it!

The steps on this page are Ellen's best recommendation for how to approach the research portion of your work. Please know that they are not the only right way to do research, and different topics may require slightly different approaches.

Taking Good Notes

One of the best ways to stay sane throughout any research and writing project is to take good notes. At the very least, your research should include any places you searched, the citations of the sources you found, and a collection of the facts and information you've learned about your topic. 

These notes will help you so much as you start outlining and drafting. A little extra effort throughout the research process will save you so much time later. 

A quick way to keep track of your sources: Most databases have a citation builder to help you quickly collect the information you need for your citations. For each source that you find, copy the APA style citation and paste it into a new document at the top of the page (you can double check the formatting and details later). Then, as you read and discover information you think you may want to use in your writing, copy and paste the information from your source into the document below the citation. 

1. Where do I start?

Start with your textbook.

Read all the relevant sections carefully.

  • Use the index (in the back of the book) to find all the relevant pages and sections about your topic.
  • Then read those sections carefully (you may need to read these sections several times). Try to get a solid understanding of your topic and any relevant anatomy, procedural terms, etc.

Take notes.

  • Take notes on what you learned from your textbook. 
  • Make a list of any relevant search terms you might use.
  • Write down any questions that you have about your topic or gaps in your understanding.

2. General Background Resources

Next, browse or search for general information about your topic.

  • Your goal here is to develop your understanding of your topic and what it entails. You may or may not use these resources in your final product, but they can be a good stepping stone to better (more credible) resources. Research is a process not a one-stop shop.
  • Add to your list of key terms and your list of questions.

Ellen's top recommendations for this step are:

3. Recommended Resources for Credible Information

Now start to dig in to scholarly articles, journals, and academic research.

  • For this phase, use a database or professional resource. Databases are organized collections of academic journals, scholarly articles, magazines, and other types of content. They have filters and search features to help you find what you need.
  • Note: You will need to log in to these resources using your MyWestern login info. The login screen looks like this:  
    If you have any trouble with access (you shouldn't), let Ellen know.
  • In each database, start with a general search for your topic, but then use the list of key terms you developed in the last two steps to go deeper. Don't give up if your first few searches don't retrieve anything useful.
  • At this point, you're looking for information about the radiologic procedure, relevant anatomy, and any technical criteria. Use your textbook to help you come up with good search words and think like a radiographer.
  • Watch your spelling. These tools don't correct misspelled words and they will retrieve results for the words you type.

Ellen's top recommendations here (in no particular order) are:

Note: You can use resources for your "minimum of 3 reliable outside sources in addition to your textbook" that are not included on this research guide. However, the resources linked in this section are vetted and credible, and will (hopefully) get you to what you need quickly.

Want to look deeper on your own? Browse our full list of library databases for yourself:

4. Recommended Resources for Radiographic Images

Find high quality radiographic images related to your topic (and don't forget to save the citations!)

These images will be included in your paper, your presentation, or both. They can also be great for helping you understand the procedure. 

Ellen's top recommendations for this are:

You can also use the databases linked above to search for images. Some of the articles you found already may also have high quality images you can use.

Who can help me with research?

If you have tried looking through these resources on your own and are still not finding the information you need, now is the perfect time to reach out to Ellen and ask for help. 

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