Research & Resources: Action Research Project

Topic Development


Evaluating Resources


Organizing Your Research


  • Decide how you will store and organize your research before you begin:
    1) Print articles, organize in physical folders, using index cards for each source
    2) Download articles to your computer, organize in digital folders by topic/search  
    3) Use bibliographic management software to store articles with features for organizing and creating citations
  • Comparison of reference management software
    Choose a management resource and learn how to use it before you begin your research. Some are more advanced/complicated than others. 
  • How to use Zotero (video)
  • Using MyBib for Citations (video)
  • Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition (Author-Date) – citation samples
    Cite your work following Maitripa Style Guide
  • Keep track of your searches – when, where, what worked, what terms you used, how many results, were the results relevant?
    1) Create your own log, or download this one 
    2) Email articles and citations to yourself as you search 
    3) Create bookmark folders to save links by topic/search
    4) Keep a physical notebook for each research assignment for taking notes
    5) Print web pages you cite; websites are often updated and may not be the same at a later date when your faculty checks your source.



  • One Perfect Source (video)
    Broaden your scope to find articles to support your topic. 
  • Start broad and use database features to narrow your results
  • Gale Databases
    1) Subject Guide search with Subdivisions
    2) Advanced Search with proximity, nesting
    3) Limit Results to Academic Journals
    4) Refine Results by Subject, Publication Title, Date
    5) More Like This and Related Subjects in relevant articles
    6) Check References for deep dive
    1) Set up your workspace with a folder for each topic
    2) Expand search to All Content if results are few (email librarian citations for access to articles)
    3) View References and Related Texts in relevant articles
    4) Narrow results by Subject
    5)Use Text Analyzer



  • Creswell John W and Cheryl N Poth. 2018. Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design: Choosing among Five Approaches. Fourth ed. Los Angeles: SAGE. H61.C73 2018
  • McNiff Jean. 2013. Action Research: Principles and Practice. Third ed. Milton Park Abingdon Oxon: Routledge. LB1028.24.M398 2013
  • Moschella, Mary Clark. 2008. Ethnography As a Pastoral Practice: An Introduction. Cleveland Ohio: Pilgrim Press.
  • Moschella, Mary Clark and Susan Willhauck. 2018. Qualitative Research in Theological Education: Pedagogy in Practice. London: SCM Press. BR118.Q83 2018
  • Payne Richard K Scott A Mitchell and Natalie E. F Quli. 2021. Methods in Buddhist Studies: Essays in Honor of Richard K. Payne. London: Bloomsbury Academic. BQ158.M48 2019
  • Studying Faith: Qualitative Methodologies for Studying Religious Communities 
  • Wertz Frederick J. 2011. Five Ways of Doing Qualitative Analysis: Phenomenological Psychology Grounded Theory Discourse Analysis Narrative Research and Intuitive Inquiry. New York: Guilford Press. BF76.5.F545 2011



  • How to Read a Scholarly Article (video)
    Three NC State faculty members respond to the questions: What is your process for reading a scholarly article? How long does it take you to read a scholarly article? Does your reading process change when you read articles from different disciplines? What is one piece of advice you would give to a student who was attempting to read a scholarly article?
  • Reading Scholarly Articles: Joining the Conversation
    Strategies to help you read and use scholarly materials effectively. You may find that many academic texts offer meaningful ways to explore your and others’ ideas and perspectives.
  • Peer Review in 3 Minutes (video)
    Articles are evaluated by asking questions to judge the quality and significance of the research: What is this research about? Is it interesting? Is it important? Is the methodology sound? Are the conclusions logical? and Are the findings original?