Web-Based Research Tools:

bulgefetaUrban and Civil

Nov 29, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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Web
-
Based Research Tools:


How to Access and Achieve Results







Prepared by the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program

Middle Tennessee State University















2







Web
-
Based Research Tools





What Is Research?






3


Library
of Congress





5


JSTOR







6


IngentaConnect






8


How to Absorb the Literature




9


How Far to

Take the Literature Review?


12


Formats






13


University Writing Center




15


Stylesheet for the McNair Research Review


16


Creating a Slide of You
r Research



17


Making a Poster of Your Research



19


Bonus: The Research Proposal



24





Appendix A: APA, MLA, Chicago Styles


26




Appendix B: Creating a Powerpoint Poster


27







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What Is Research?


What do you consider research to be?


Is
it a book report?


Is it an annotated bibliography?


Is it a summary of results from major studies
?


Popular usage of the term “research” probably suggests yes

to all the above
. But for our
purposes
, research is creating new knowledge about a subject, know
ledge that did not exist
before your own study. Elements of the above items do go into research, specifically in your
literature review, which summarizes the knowledge of the s
ubject area you plan to investigate
.
The reason you do a literature review is to

find out what is already known about your subject so
that you can build on this foundation. There may be gaps in the state of knowledge, there may be
anomalies, there may be disagreements among scholars, there may be a lack of theory or there
may be a lac
k of empirical verification of theory. These are areas where you can make an original
contribution.


The assumption is that research is cumulative and that you, as a researcher, will add to the
knowledge base for others to build on. If you only summarize w
hat others have written, you will
perform a useful service, especially if it is a thorough review, but you will not have added new
knowledge if you stop there.

Most of what you’ve done as an undergraduate is learn what others
have contributed to your disci
pline. Making your own original contribution is a big leap. This is
one reason McNair scholars are welcomed by graduate schools


you will have made a leap that
the typical undergraduate has not.


Although there is some overlap between them, a distinction
is often made between qualitative
and quantitative research.


Qualitative research is typically used in studies of literature, education, history and some social
sciences such as anthropology. It may be descriptive or analytical, focusing on a single ind
ividual,
group, event or process. It is theoretical in that it often makes connections and provides
explanations but the theory is not usually falsifiable. That is to say there is no way such a theory
can be proven false or shown to be better than another
theory. Conclusions are seldom

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generalizable beyond the subject at hand. Data collection methodologies used include
introspection, participant observation, case studies, typologies, interviews, and document analysis.


Quantitative research is used in math
ematics, the “hard sciences,” and some social sciences such
as economics. It may be deductive by starting with a general theory or model and deriving
applications from it, or inductive by starting with evidence and building a theory. It is descriptive,
exp
lanatory or predictive. Its theories are falsifiable. It is reliant on statistical analysis


often on
the basis of a large sample, randomly selected. It is often generalizable to classes of events,
events across time and so on, producing laws of behavior.

Methodologies include testing,
experimentation, or any other method that produces quantifiable results.


The two approaches can overlap, as mentioned. An example would be using one or a few case
studies to produce generalizable conclusions or to falsify a

theory. More concretely, suppose a
theory of interstate conflict says that democratic nations never go to war with each other. Finding
a single counter
-
example to this theory changes it from a deterministic law to a probabilistic law,
revised to read: dem
ocratic nations seldom go to war with each other. (This theory, both in its
“hard” and “soft” versions is called democratic peace theory.)


The research process usually

begin
s

with a question you want to answer:



How does the outbreak of a disease become

an epidemic or a pandemic?


What are the underlying causes of poverty?


Is there a measurable difference between artificial intelligence and organic intelligence?


Why do people remember their failures more than their successes?


Does exposing fetuses to
Mozart make them more creative children?


How can buildings be made to withstand stronger winds?


Was Freud a feminist?


How can digital compression be taken further?


Why does adding more thoroughfares in cities increase traffic congestion?


What effect d
oes globalization have on peripheral areas?


Does string theory have predictive power?


How informed is the average American voter?


Sometimes students agonize over a research topic as if it were an obstacle to get through. But
think of a question in your
field that you would like an answer to and it no longer is an obstacle
but rather an adventure to satisfy your curiosity.


Research Design


Sometimes the question is narrow enough that you can begin a research design; other times you
may have to first divi
de a broad question into smaller questions and focus on one of them. When
you have your research question, ask several more:


What data do I need to answer this question?

How will I get the
s
e

data? (Do I have to
collect or create the

data

o
r is there an e
xisting
database
I can use?)

How will

I make
sense of
all
the data
?

How will my findings

re
late to what authorities in the field have found
?


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Answering these questions is the purpose of your research design. It is your blueprint that will
guide your study
. You may be chagrined to discover that you will have to learn a new statistical
technique such as regression analysis in order to analyze your data. You may be delighted to find
that one of the authorities in the field has already collecte
d the data you n
eed and posted the
dataset

online. You may find either that there is considerable research relevant to your question
or that there is very little. If the first, there may be disagreements, so you may want to design a
critical experiment to tip the balance
in favor of one or the other side. If the second, you may
want to design a more exploratory study to open the field. In short, let your interest and the
current state of knowledge guide your research design which, in turn, will guide your work.


Creative P
rojects


For those of you in the performing arts, you may compose a work instead of conducting research
as described above. That is, you may create a work of art that did not previously exist. Or you may
perform a work, giving it your own interpretation. I
n academia, tenure decisions in the arts are
often based on creation and performance rather than
on
publishing original research.


But whether research or a creative project is your goal, allow your mentor to provide guidance so
that the final product meet
s professional standards in your field.












Library of Congress


In 300 B.C., the largest library in the world was in Alexandria, Egypt. A serious scholar would make
the trek to Alexandria even if that meant months of hazardous travel. Today, t
h
e Library of
Congress

is the largest library in the world

and the serious scholar can access it in seconds from a
keyboard
. The LOC has “more than 134 million items on approximately 530 miles of
bookshelves”
(
www.loc.gov/about/facts.html
). It

can

be very helpful in

your research, not only for its reference
material but also for the databases it contain
s. Because its website is also vast, to use it effectively,
you’ll need to learn your way around.


The ba
sic thing
you need to know is the system
called the Library of
Congress Classification which

provides you with call numbers to use in your search. Go to
www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco
.

...

Everybody there?

You’ll see a list of letters with the correspondi
ng categories
. For instance, B is
for philosophy, D is history, G is geography, J is political science, N is fine arts, Q is science.


Each letter (class) is further divided into subclasses. For example, c
lick on Q and you will see a
screen with the following:



Subclass Q

Science (general)


Subclass QA

Mathematics


Subclass QB

Astronomy


Subclass QC

Physics


Subclass QD

Chemistry


Subclass QE

Geology


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Subclass QH

Natural History


Biology


Subclass QK

Bota
ny


Subclass QL

Zoology


Subclass QM

Human anatomy


Subclass QP

Physiology


Subclass QR

Microbiology


Each of these is further divided. For example, if you click on Subclass QC or Physics, you will see a
screen with a list of numbered QCs. QC221
-
246, one o
f 27 categories, represents Acoustics.


To see what is available in this sub
-
subclass, go back to the Class page and enter the call number
in the search tool

at the top (not the one on the left)
. For practice, enter Q
C
221. On the next
screen click Speech R
ecognition and Processing. On the next screen, click Journals in the second
column, or simply scroll down the screen. You’ll see 11 journals in the field and dozens of articles,
along with call numbers. If this were what you wanted,

you could
write do
wn th
e call numbers of
interest
.


The LOC is a 600
-
pound gorilla that other libraries accommodate. They do so by adopting its
classification system, and the Walker Library at MTSU is no exception.

G
o to the MTSU homepage
and click Libraries on the far left colu
mn. On the next screen click James E. Walker Library. On the
next screen, use the search too
l and type in a

call number. For instance, type in QC221
-
246 to find
all the acoustic
-
related books and articles in Walker Library. If what you want isn’t there, us
e
Interlibrary Loan. To see how this works, go to the James E. Walker homepage, place cursor over
Library Services for the drop
-
down menu and click Interlibrary Loan. On next screen, click Ne
w
Borrower
.

At the bottom of the next screen, click First Time Us
ers Click Here. After you have a
password and have used the service once, it is very easy to use again.


Now take a few minutes to explore your discipline on LOC’s website to see what is available. If
your area is not science, go back to the Class page and

go from there. If something leaps out at
you, save it to your flash drive

provided with this notebook
.

JSTOR


One of the handiest

tools available
to you for research is JSTOR. This

is an online collection of
articles from major journals in virtually any f
ield you’re interested in. From the JSTOR website
(under Browse), the following 35 subject areas are listed:


African American Studies

African Studies




Anthropology

Archaeology



Architecture & Architectural History

Art & Art History

Asian Studies



Biol
ogical Sciences



Business

Classical Studies



Ecology & Evolutionary Biology


Economics

Education



Feminist & Women’s Studies


Finance

Folklore




Geography




History

History of Science & Technology

Language & Literature



Latin American Studies

Law




Linguistics




Mathematics

Middle East Studies


Music





Performing Arts

Philosophy



Political Science




Population Studies

Psychology



Public Policy & Administration


Slavic Studies

Sociology



Statistics


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The number of journals per subject ranges fro
m one (Folklore, Law, Performing Arts, Public Policy
& Administration) to 80 (Language & Literature), with an average of 18 journals per subject.
Journals go back to as early as 1831 (
Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London
) to as
recently as a

few years ago. The reason that the very latest issues are not available is economic:
although most journals have institutional subscriptions they also rely on individual subscriptions.
If everyone could get the latest articles from a journal for free, no
one would subscribe and there
would be no more journal.


To access JSTOR, you need to go through an institution that has a subscription to the service.
That is, use a computer on the MTSU campus or most any other university

(provided you have a
password)
.
You can use JSTOR from home but you’ll have to go through the MTSU website. At
home or other non
-
MTSU location, simply go to the MTSU homepage and click Libraries on the
far left column. On the next screen click James E. Walker Library. At top of next scre
en place
cursor over Research Gateway for the drop
-
down menu and click Databases A
-
Z. On the next
screen click J. Click JSTOR. On next screen click
JSTOR
.


On a campus computer, just google JSTOR
or go to
www.jstor.org
. Go ahead

and do it now and
then stay at the homepage for a moment. Everyone on?


The first link is called Search, next to the eyeball. This is what you’ll usually want to use. There are
two ways to search


by title or by author. You may have a specific

article in mind. For instance,
you may have read an article that made reference to another article on the same subject. Or your
mentor may have suggested that you read a certain article. If you know the author’s name


for
instance, John Smith


type the
following exactly this way:


au:”john smith” and then click search.


If you know the title, say, “Anodized Steel: Its Use in Medical Surgical Instruments,” type the
following exactly this way:


ti:”anodized steel: its use in medical surgical instruments” a
nd then click search.


Don’t actually type these in the search tool. John Smith did not write this article

if it exists
. But if
you happen to know of an article you need, type in the author or title now. If not, use ti and type
in a

keyword that applies to

your research to view articles that contain that word in their titles.
Choose one and take a look at it. You can read the article online, download it or (when you have
access to a printer) print it.


If you
’ve found something you want,
download it to you
r flash drive
. To do this
, click Download at
the top of the screen, choose PDF on the next screen and Economy PD
F (to save space), then
Save

a Copy (at upper left), name the file by author and year, and place it in the appropriate folder
.


If you want to p
rint the article from the website, be sure to use the menu bar at the top and click
Print. If you go straight to Control
-
Print, you’ll end up printing only the page that shows, and then
you’ll have to print each page with a command each time. Moreover, sin
ce you would not be
using JSTOR’s formatting, you might lose the bottom few lines of each page by going straight to
Control
-
Print.


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If your printer allows the option, print on both sides. To find out if that’s an option try the
following sequence: On the p
rint screen, click Properties, then Finishing. Under Document
Options, click on the ballot box next to Print Both Sides. This not only saves a tree but makes it
easier to staple a long article and reduces the height of the stack of papers in your office.


Tips


Sometimes you won’t be able to immediately find the article you want, but don’t give up too
quickly. First, double
-
check to ma
ke sure you typed everything
correctly.


If you still have a problem, try searching a different way. If you started with tit
le and had no luck,
try the author, or vice versa. For some reason this sometimes works.


Sometimes adding the middle initial to an author’s name will do the trick. Or eliminating it. If
there are multiple authors,
sometimes using the second instead of th
e first

will locate the article.


If you’ve tried all the above and still can’t find the article but know the journal, go straight to the
journal’s homepage and search there. Also go straight to the journal homepage if it is a very
recent article. Even tho
ugh they are subscriber
-
supported, many journals have an archive
available for online use (perhaps hoping that once you’re on their website you’ll want to
subscribe). The site may have a link labeled archive or back issues. It may also allow limited access

to the current issue. Or there may simply be a search tool. Some journals charge for access to the
article (in case you don’t subscribe); others do not.


You can also google the author or title and see what you come up with. Some researchers have a
homepa
ge with a section titled research in which they have printable versions of their articles.


If you still cannot find what you need, run a search via Walker Library or physically go to the
library. Reference personnel will be happy to help.












Ingen
taConnect

Another source of journal articles is IngentaConnect with more than 22 million documents
(including reports and book chapters) from 30,778 publications worldwide. Moreover, some 4,000
articles are added daily. This service, like JSTOR, is accesse
d via an institution’s subscription.
(Individuals who are not connected to an institution may obtain articles at a charge of $25
-
$45.)


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The URL for the search feature is
www.ingentaconnect.com
. Searching for
an article by keyword or
title requires no special conventions; one simply types in the desired word or phrase. If searching
by author, one simply goes to Advanced Search and enters the author’s name in the

appropriate
box. If you type

in the author’s name

before going to Advanced Search, the service will

automatically transfer you

to the correct screen whereupon the author’s name will have to be re
-
entered.


IngentaConnect browsing is based on subject areas, publisher collections and publisher name
(approx
imately 280 publishers). The subject areas are:


Agriculture/Food Sciences

Arts and Humanities

Biology/Life Sciences

Chemistry

Computer and Information Sciences

Earth and Environmental Sciences

Economics and Business

Engineering/Technology

Mathematics and
Statistics

Medicine

Nursing

Philosophy/Linguistics

Physics/Astronomy

Psychology/Psychiatry

Social Sciences


Clicking a subject area reveals a list of journals as well as subcategories to refin
e the search. You
can

cho
ose a subject area appropriate to your
research

and drill down further in this field. For
example, clicking Biology/Life Sciences brings up a list of 836 publications. To narrow the search
to the relevant area, subcategories are provided within this field:



Anatomy & Physiology

Biochemistry

Bi
ology

Biotechnology

Botany

Entomology

Genetics

Microbiology

Zoology



Clicking on a
journal title brings you

to a screen that lists the available volumes for online access.
Many of the journal screens also have a link to the journal’s homepage.






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How
to

Absorb the Literature


In order to make an original contribution to the knowledge in your field, you have to first know
the literature. You do not, of course, want to design a study that has already been conducted
(unless your intention is to replicate
the study). But to know the literature relevant to your
research area, you have to read it. There may be only a few sources that are really important, or
there may literally be dozens or even hundreds of relevant articles and books. If there are many,
how
can you absorb them all in a reasonably short time?


One way

is to read according to the need. Freeman and Reed, as cited in Walliman (2001),
suggest the following reading techniques, suitable for different purposes:



Skimming


Scanning


Reading to unders
tand


Word
-
by
-
word reading


Skimming

is helpful to quickly determine if a source is likely to be helpful. The title provides the
first clue. If you’re dealing with a journal article and it has an abstract, read it. For a book, look at
the table of contents
. (An easy way to accomplish this is to go to Amazon, call up the book you
want to check and use the “Search inside the book” tool, which usually shows a table of contents.)
You should develop the skill of determining the relevance of a work in a few minut
es. If the article
or book seems pertinent, categorize it as being helpful as an overview or as a concrete study of
some aspect of your research question, or both. Jot down the full citation of the work and label it
“broad” or “specific” or “both.” If it i
s a journal article, print it out or download it.


Scanning

is useful when you are searching for an important point or key word. You ignore
everything

except the one thing you are looking for. One use for scanning is to locate the major
authorities on the
subject of interest. If an author continually appears in the reference sections of
the articles and books you have collected, you must include him/her in your own literature review.


Reading to understand

is appropriate when you want to learn the major fac
ts (what your
discipline assumes to be true) and theories related to your research area. Read the first sentence
of each paragraph to determine whether to continue reading the paragraph or skip to the next.


Word
-
by
-
word reading

is used when you must under
stand something in depth. For example,
there may be a fundamental formula that you need to master or a debate between two leading
authorities that you need to know in some depth or results from a study that speak directly to
your thesis. You may not need t
o read this way very often, however.


Another way

to grasp the literature is to allow others to do some of the work for you, especially
with regard to books. For example, many journals publish anywhere from a handful to an armload
of book reviews every iss
ue. When you find a book of interest, the review can provide both a
summary as well as a critique in a page or two. This can be a very helpful time
-
saver. How to find
them? It’s very simple if you know the name of the book: go to JSTOR, use the ti search,
and type
in the title of the book. If you do not know the title, type in a keyword. If it appears in the title of a
book and if that book has been reviewed in one of the covered journals, the review
s

will be shown
by JSTOR.


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There are several addition
al sources for book reviews and article synopses. All of the following
may be accessed from MTSU computers.


Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature

1920
-
present

http://coll
ections.chadwyck.com/home/home_abell.jsp



Contains 880,000 items: monographs, journal articles, critical editions of literary works,



book reviews, collections of essays.


American Reference Books Manual

(ARBAonline)

www.arbaonline.com/index.cfm



Contains 9,000 reviews of reference works in print or on CD
-
ROM. Also reviews websites.


America: History & Life

1954
-
present

http://serials.abc
-
clio.com/active/start?_appname=serials&initialdb=AHL



Contains 6,000 book reviews from 100 journals related to U.S. and Canadian history. To

limit your search to reviews, use Advanced Search and enter r* in the Document Type

sear
ch box.


Book Review Digest
1983
-
present

Now called
Wilson Book Review Digest

www.ovid.com/site/catalog/DataBase/170.jsp



Contains 112,000 records, including 7,000 book reviews from 109 Am
erican, British and



Canadian periodicals, covering humanities, social sciences, and general sciences. Very



clunky website. Printed version at the library is much easier to use.


Book Review Index

1969
-
present

http://library.dialog.com/bluesheets/html/bl0137.html



Contains references to 4,000,000 reviews of 2,000,000 books for children and young



adults.


The Complete Review

www.complete
-
review.com/links/links.html



Contains links to 227 book review sites.


Project MUSE

1993
-
present

http://muse.jhu.edu


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Contains full text of 200 journals in literature, history, visual and performin
g arts,



anthropology, education, gender studies, political science and economics. To limit your



search to reviews, use Advanced Search. Under Limit Search, see By Type and select



Review.


Web of Science

http://scientific.thomson.com/products/wos



This is somewhat of a misnomer because it includes humanities as well as sciences.



Contains information, including full
-
text articles, from 8,700 journals around the world.


Take a few minutes to
explore one of these sites to see what is has to offer you. In addition to
reviews, you may discover extra services of interest. For example, Web of Science also has a
networking service to help you find a collaborator to co
-
author research papers.


A note

of caution: The idea here is to save time, not to cheat. Do not list a book in the References section of your research
paper if you have not actually consulted it. Do not cite a book if you are only using something you found in a book review.
Even worse i
s quoting a book and making an observation

about it
from the book review, and then citing the book but not the
review. This involves two deceptions; citing a book you haven’t consulted and using a book reviewer’s conclusions without
giving credit (i.e., pl
agiarism). Not only is this intellectually dishonest but you may be found out, causing irreparable damage
to your reputation. For informal heuristic (teaching) documents such as this handout, a way to include a book you haven’t
read

except as cited in anot
her source

is to reference the two works together as done
below
. For formal research papers,
however, avoid even this expediency.





Reference
s


Freeman, R. and J. Meed. (1993).
How to Study Effectively
. London: Collins Educational. 31
-
41. As cited by
Nicholas Walliman. (2001).
Your Research Project: A Step by Step Guide for the First
-
Time Researcher
. London:
SAGE Publications. 46
-
47.






















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How Far to Take the Literature Review?


If you are a beginning researcher, this

may be an important question for you. In practical terms, if
you present your research at a professional conference, the last thing you want to happen is for
someone in the audience to ask why your results contradict those of another study, particularly i
f
it’s a study you have never heard of. So you want to have a pretty good handle on the relevant
research in the area you are studying. (But don’t panic. If you know the literature, you can handle
such questions, as we’ll see below.)


Length
of the litera
ture review
partly depends on the nature of the study. Of course you will
provide a

lengthier literature review in a dissertation than in a research paper for
McNair
. For the
McNair

paper, you have a short time period in which to complete your study so you
r review of the
literature will necessarily be less thorough.


Length also partly depends on the topic of the study. If you are providing a proof of a
mathematical theorem, the literature review may be very brief. If you are examining the migratory
pattern
s of a species in middle Tennessee, it may be longer but still quite short. If you are
studying the impact of an artist on an artistic movement, it will be longer. If you are identifying
the causes of war, the literature review will be very long indeed.


A

good way to know when you have gone as far as you need to go is when yo
u
see
repetition in the literature
.



As you read, look for patterns in your sources. When you begin to see repetition in the literature
you should begin to feel confidence that you kn
ow what the state of knowledge is in your
problem area.


Repetition may take many forms. For example, if many researchers seem to have reached similar
conclusions, then you know you have a good grasp of the literature. (
So to the member of the

14

audience yo
u can say that, while there are differences in the field, your results are consistent with
several other studies you name and suggest why these are especially persuasive
.)


Or if you discover that there appear to be two or three opposing camps of thought
that include
most authors, then you have probably covered the literature adequately. (
So even if you haven’t
heard of the study mentioned by the questioner you can categorize it as falling into one or another
camp, place your study in a different camp and
discuss the differences
.)


Or if you find that the methodologies of pertinent studies seem to converge on a particular
technique or set of results, then you have probably become as familiar with the literature as you
need to be in order to add to the know
ledge base. (
So the study you may not have heard of is
idiosyncratic. As such it is either wrong or an exciting departure from most research, and you should
say so. Also ask for a citation so you can look it up and decide for yourself which it is. If the
q
uestioner doesn’t remember the citation, exchange business card
s after the presentation

so (s)he
can email it to you
.)


After reading a handful of articles or books in which you do not see any new kinds of conclusions
or methodologies or arguments, then yo
u know you have arrived at a reasonable stopping place.


That is, you let the literature tell you when to stop
.






Formats


Adding new knowledge to the field cannot happen if you are the only one who knows about it. So
o
nce you have completed your
research
, you then share it. This entails writing up your study in a
way


a format


that is appropriate to your discipline.


The first source of advice on the proper format is your mentor. Ask her what formats are
acceptable. Ask him which he prefers, an
d why.


Other sources of information are the journals in your field. You most likely will have read
numerous articles in various journals. Visit the websites of these journals and learn what format
they require. You’ll want to know that because oneday (hop
efully when you’re still in graduate
school) you will be submitting articles for publication in these journals. You may as well get into
the habit of writing papers in the format that will be needed for publication so that you become
familiar with the conv
entions of the format. It will also save you re
-
write time.


Let’s suppose your area is anthropology and you have found several articles from the journal
American Anthropologist
. If you don’t know the URL for the journal, google it. To save you the
trouble

in this ca
se,
go to
www.aaanet.org/aa
.
Everyone

there?


Find the link Information for Authors and click it. The next screen

tells you exactly what the editors
want.
You’ll notice that the style used is Chicago as
modified by AAA. On the homepage of

15

American Anthropologist

is a link to an AAA manual. If you were an anthropologist you would
want to download this manual to your flash drive.


As you get into your r
esearch, you may want to create

a
Styles
folder on your

flash drive and
download the guidelines for each major journal in your field. But check these guidelines online
again before you submit an article for publication because they may have changed.


Knowing the accepted format for your discipline can also hel
p you in your graduate courses. For
term papers, all professors will insist that you cite your sources because plagiarism is a cardinal
sin. Some professors will not care how you do it so long as you do, in fact, do it. Other professors,
however, may want
you to use a particular style. If you have already learned the basics of the
preferred style in your discipline, and know where to look if you have specific questions, you will
save yourself some pain later.


For practice, if you know the name of a journal

in your field, google it to find its homepage. If you
do not know of a journal, go to JSTOR
-
Browse to find one, then google it. Explore the journal’s
page until you find a link to submission guidelines (or author’s guidelines or requirements or
preferred
style or whatever language the journal uses). Pay particular attention to any mention of
APA, MLA, Chicago or other style. Download these pages i
nto your flash drive. C
reate a folder
named for the journal and place the guidelines in it.

Place this folder i
n the Styles folder.

Add
other journal files as convenient.


You now know what at least one journal in your field requires. You may also know what style it
requires. If so, when you talk to your mentor, you can mention it and ask if this is typical or
atyp
ical for most journals in your field.







Style Guides


Mention has been made of APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language
Association), and Chicago styles of handling references and citations. These are the ones most
often used, but

there are many others, often discipline
-
specific. For instance, ACA (American
Chemical Society) style is obviously used by chemists.
The Handbook of Writing for the
Mathematical Sciences

by Nicholas J. Higham (1998. Philadelphia: Society for Industrial an
d
Applied Mathematics) covers just what it says. These two style guides are in the McNair office.
Again, consult with your mentor to learn the style appropriate for your research paper.


Knowing what is the commonly accepted style is the first step. The se
cond is finding a manual of
this style so you can actually use it. Since MLA and APA and Chicago are the most common, let’s
take a closer look at them. One of the better summary references of these styles comes from the
University of California at Berkeley
. It provides examples in a clearcut and simple fashion that
allow the writer to quickly determine how to handle specific cases (how to cite a book or a journal
article, for example) in these three styles.



16

Go to
www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Style.html
. Scroll down the page until
you see the bulleted APA Style Guide, MLA Style Guide, and Turabian & Chicago Styles Guide.
Read the brief descriptions of each

and determine which one applies

to your field or which seems
to come closest. Click on the appropriate style. You will find from four pages (APA) to seven
pages (MLA) that show you how to cite books, journal articles and so on, along with references to

co
nsult for more information.
C
opies of these three
style

guide
s
are provided in
Appendix

A
, but
y
ou might want to download the appropriate pocket manual to your flash drive.


After talking with your mentor, you may discover you need a different or additiona
l manual. Once
you know the style, go online and search for a stylesheet, or a brief summary of the major
citations you are likely to encounter, and then download that pocket manual to your flash drive.


When you write your research paper (the one for McNa
ir and, presumably, many to follow), you
will never have to scramble near deadline to find out how to cite, for instance, a book review
article. Just whip out your flash drive for the answer.


To make writing your paper easier, McNair is in the process of
buying a software program that
automatically arranges your citations in APA or MLA style. The software is called EndNoteX and
will be installed on one of the McNair computers available for scholar use. The software is coming
through a university order so w
e do not know when we will have it but when it is installed, we’ll
let you know.

















MTSU’s University Writing Center


Another source for format styles is the University Writing
Center. Go to
www.mt
su.edu/~uwcenter
. In the left column, click For Students. Under the subhead On the Web,
click Citation Styles. There you will see guides for APA, CBE (it says CBC but when you go to the
site it will be for CBE style) used for natural sciences (astronomy,
biology, chemistry, earth
sciences, physics), Chicago, MLA, and Turabian. For CSE style (used especially for biology), go to
the UWC homepage and For Students. Under subhead At MTSU, click UWC Handouts, on next
screen click Documentation, then CSE.



17

The UW
C can be a valuable asset for you when you write your research paper. The center
provides tutoring for
any

writing project, identifies weaknesses and develops strategies to remedy
them. Half
-
hour and hour
-
long appointments can be made by calling 904
-
8237 o
r stopping in at
Peck Hall 325. Due to remodeling at Peck Hall, the center will move to Ezell Hall 119 after June 1.
The Peck Hall office should be open again in the fall. Phone number for Ezell: 494
-
8616. To avoid
confusion about location and office hours
, go to the UWC homepage, For Students, and under
subhead At MTSU, click UWC Hours & Directions.


Much of the UWC website is under construction. For instance, handouts are available online for
writing about art and history. Soon philosophy, psychology, mat
h and engineering handouts will
be available. (You’ll find them at UWC home, For Students, At MTSU, UWC Handouts, Writing in
Disciplines).


Also, there’s a section under construction that will help you with organizing your paper. (UWC
home, For Students,
At MTSU, Research, Organizing a Research Paper.)


Personnel at the University Writing Center are friendly and helpful. It may be worth your while,
not only to explore the UWC website, but also to stop by the UWC office to get feedback as you
progress from
data collection to writing your article.


























Stylesheet

f
or the
McNair Research Review

When you write your research paper for the
McNair Research Review
, take a look at the last issue
to get an idea of how it is put together. The guid
elines below will give you more specific help.


18

Length

An ideal length is 10 or fewer journal pages but we can accommodate longer articles. In the last
issue (Vol. V) journal pages per article varied from four to 17, depending on word count, number
and size

of illustrations, and number of subheads. The average length of all articles was just under
eight journal pages. Word count ranged from approximately 1,250 to 9,500. The average number
of words per journal page is around 750 for a page of straight text. I
llustrations (tables, figures,
photos) vary considerably in length, of course, but you can approximate the amount of space
your illustrations will take by comparing them to the ones in the last issue in order to gauge the
length of your article.

Format

T
his varies according to discipline. Discuss this with you
r mentor to determine the style

(MLA, APA
and so on) used in your discipline. For the
Review
, we will standardize

title, your name, your
mentor’s nam
e preceded by Dr., and

department.


For next year’
s
Review
, please include a bri
ef abstract

of around 150 words.

You may either incorporate illustrations in the text of your article or provide separate files for
them. If the latter, t
o indicate placement of a graphic, use all caps and place the instructio
n on a
separate line

in your paper
. For example:

FIGURE 1 ABOUT HERE

It is very helpful if you use a single space between sentences.

A
n a
cknowled
gement is optional.
If used, place immediately before your references section.

For
an example, see page 159 in
Volume V. (This one is long for an acknowledgement, by the way.)

Graphics

Double
-
check to make sure text and charts/tables/figures/graphs are not mutually contradictory.

Remember that your paper will be printed in black and white. For solids

in charts
, up
to four
shades of gray are easily distinguishable: white (if enclosed), light gray, dark gray and black. For
lines, up to three shades: light gray, dark

gray and black. If

you have a pie chart with five or more
slices, use another method of differentiating

the sections besides just shading.

Media

Please provide an electronic file plus a printout.

Deadlines

Presentation of your research at the Symposium is July 31, 2007. Your mentor
-
approved paper is
due October 1, 2007.

Special

If you have special instruct
ions, let us know. For instance, if you are using a term in a way that it is
not normally used or if it is capitalized in your paper when it normally would not be or any other
special case that is out of the ordinary, write a brief explanation and attach i
t to the printout of
your paper so that we will not change something that should not be changed during
proofreading.




19


Creating a Slide of Your Research


The McNair Program

would like t
o create a slide collage of everyone’s

research. This will be a
contin
uous loop of slides (one slide per student) that can be used while presenting information to
the public about the program
; for example, at a
booth

at a community college
.


In some cases, the first slide of the Powerpoint you use to present your

research at

the McNair
S
ymposium

will work. More likely, you will

want to design a new slide that is more a
ppropriate for
public relations

than
f
o
r

presenting research results.


Your slide:



Should include the title of your research


May include a subtitle


Should
include your name, mentor’s name, and department


Should be visually ar
resting


If you use Powerpoint,
you can
eliminate text boxes and insert photo or artwork on the blank
slide. (Be careful abou
t using copyrighted material.) You can then overlay

new text

boxes for title,
etc. When you’re finished with the slide, email it

as an attachment to
Ms. Cindy
.



A few examples
to spur your imagination
fol
low
.

If you need help designing your slide, feel free to
drop by the McNair office and we’ll be happy to help.








Is CO
2
the Main Cause
of Global Warming?
An Analysis
Comparing the
Effects of
Greenhouse
Gases and
Land Use on
Climate
Change
Alonzo Devonshire
Dr. Allison
Beauviere
Chemistry Department



20







The Impact of
Terrorism on the
American Public
John Hopkins
Dr. Patrick
Mehaney
Dept. of Political Science



Urban Encroachment on Nat ural
Wi l dli fe Habi t at s: A Case St udy
i n Mi ddl e Tennessee
Jelise
Jacoby
Dr. Dennis
Abramof f
Depart ment of Biology




21

The Philosophy of
The Philosophy of
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw
Constructivism in Shavian Drama
Constructivism in Shavian Drama
Adrianna Covington
Adrianna Covington
Dr.
Dr.
Meggie
Meggie
Worthington
Worthington
English Department
English Department




Making a Poster of Your Research


DESIGNS
:


Individual slides
OR

One
-
page poster




Individual slides are 8 ½
” x 11” each

o

usually contain 1


5 bulleted points per slide

o

easy to create with template designs

o

present well when printed on photographic paper

o

easy to arrange on poster display board

o

also useful as a screen show during your presentation

o

photo paper an
d color printer available in MGB 103







One
-
page poster

o

created as one large slide

o

use drawing toolbar to create shapes, sections, diagrams, charts,
etc.

o

able to print to exact dimensions of display board

o

useful for large poster boards

o

can be reduced to
handout size

o

Large plotter and paper available in MGB 201


PURPOSE
: Present information




Clear

o

easy to read format

o

format style may depend on your discipline



Concise

o

focus on major points

o

fill in specific details during the presentation



Consistent

o

kee
p formatting the same (e.g., template design, color scheme)


22

o

limit font styles (some sites suggest only 2 styles; however, use as
many different sizes of those styles as you need)


HOW TO:

Step
-
by
-
Step

for One
-
page Poster Design




Open PowerPoint and click o
n
Slide Design



Click on
Slide Layout



Click on the
Bl
ank
slide



Go to
File



Click on
Page Setup



Click on

Custom



For the tri
-
fold display board, enter
width
:
48”
and
height
:
36”

o

Number of slides: 1

o

Orientation
(for slides):

Landscape

(best for tri
-
fold board;
however, either
Portrait
and/
or
Landscape
works well with
individual slides)

o

Click on
OK



Begin using the
Draw toolbar
to select shapes for formatting



Right

click in the shape to
add text



Experiment with
font
style, size, and color

(See Appendix B)



To
chan
ge

the box
fill color,

left

click on the box/shape
,
choose
fill
color

from the
Draw

toolbar, and
left

click again
(See Appendix B)




To move boxes

around on your poster:
left
click the mouse to select the
box, place the cursor at the top of the box,
left
cl
ick and hold while
dragging the box



Use the

Draw toolbar
to add a

chart, diagram, clip art,
or

picture



IMPORTANT
: When finished, embed your font type so that it remains
accurate when you edit, print, or use another computer:

Go to
Tools, Save Options, Emb
ed
all

characters, OK, Save




If the file is too big to save, then try
Embed characters in use only



Preview

your final copy using the print preview
icon

or go to
File
,
Print
Preview




You are now ready
TO PRINT


TO PRINT:




One
-
Page Poster:


o

Use the Large (
HP Designjet 800PS) Printer/Plotter in MGB 201

o

Follow the steps at this website:
http://etis.web.mtsu.edu/PowerPoint/Poster
-
Printing
-
Instructions.doc



Be sure to change
the
custom
size to 48


x 36




o

OR

use the printed instructions located with the plotter in MGB
201




Individual Slides:



23

o

U
se the HP Photosmart 7760 Printer and photo paper in MGB
103

o

Print each slide individually

o

Use double
-
sided tape or push pins to adher
e to display board


(Note: thumb tacks are too short to use)




Handouts:


o

Orientation
:

Either
Portrait

or
Landscape

can be used

o

Readability will vary according to the number of slides per page

o

Use the HP color Laserjet 4600 printer in MGB 103




E
xample
s

of completed poster
s

appear on the next page


HELPFUL HINTS:




For readability, use contrasting background color and font color; e.g., if
you use a light background, then use a dark
-
colored font and vice versa



Use a minimum 30
pt.
font for text and

much larger for titles so that your
poster can be read from at least 3 feet away



Remember to include your name, your mentor’s name, Department,
MTSU, and the title of your poster



If you would like McNair’s emblem or MTSU’s, email
Terri

at
mcnairpr@mtsu.edu




HELPFUL LINKS:




Free PowerPoint Templates

http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=Free+PowerPoint+t
emplates&fr=FP
-
tab
-
web
-
t500&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF
-
8


http://office.microsoft.com/en
-
us/templates/CT101527321033.aspx?av=ZPP


(Browse “Template
Categories”)




Tutorial f
or PowerPoint beginners

http://presentationsoft.about.com/od/powerpoint101/a/begin_guide.htm

(Browse “11 PowerPoint Tutorials for Beginners

How to Use
PowerPoint)








24




























25

FIRST
-
SEMESTER COLLEGE
ADJUSTMENT
,
RETENTION, AND RESIDENCY
Recent statistics regarding college retention indicate that
of the approximately
1 million freshmen who start out in 4
-
year colleges each year:

only 63% will graduate with a degree within 6 years (Carey, 200
4, 2005)

only 37% will graduate within 4 years (Carey, 2004)

most freshmen in the U.S. who attend 4
-
year undergraduate institutions take longer
than 4 years to graduate, and a substantial number never grad
uate.
Considerable research has focused on improving retention in
college, including
emphasis on academic and social integration of students (Pascare
lla & Terenzeni,
2005; Tinto, 2004). Currently, many universities place an emphas
is on the
first
-
year learning experience by utilizing

learning communities,


freshman seminars,


mandatory study
-
group sections

(i.e., small student group approach in developmental
courses, learning and solving problems as a small team, peer tut
oring) and first
-
year
dormitories (Carey, 2005b) in an effort to retain students durin
g this tenuous educational
year.
This study examined the extent to which place of residence
at the beginning of the
first semester is related to students

initial adjustment to college and perceptions of
retention.
Materials

Demographic questionnaire.
This survey consists of 19 questions regarding
participants

background and characteristics (e.g., age, marital status), and
16 questions
regarding participants

mental health history (e.g., counseling history).

College Adjustment Scales
(
CAS;
Anton & Reed, 1991). This 108
-
item instrument
assesses 9 areas of college adjustment: (1) anxiety; (2) depr
ession; (3) suicidal
ideation; (4) substance abuse; (5) self
-
esteem problems; (6) interpersonal problems;
(7) family problems; (8) academic problems; and (9) career probl
ems. Responses are
made using a 4
-
point
Likert
-
type format (1 =
not at all true
, 2 =
slightly true
, 3 =
mainly
true
, 4 =
very true
).

Student concerns survey.
This survey consists of 47 items related to college adjustment
(e.g., choosing a major, public speaking). Each item is rated fr
om 1 =
never
to 5 =
very
often
. Participants also rank ordered their top 10 concerns.

Student retention questions.
This survey consists of 10 questions about students

perceptions of future retention in college. Responses are mad
e along a scale of
1 =
definitely unlikely
or
never
to 5 =
very likely
or
always
.
Procedure

Time 1
:
During weeks 3 and 4 of the Fall 2005 semester, participants co
mpleted a
200
-
item survey comprised of:

a demographic and mental health history questionnaire

the
College Adjustment Scales
(
CAS
; Anton & Reed, 1991)

a student concerns survey

a college retention survey

Time 2
: Two weeks before the end of the Fall 2005 semester, participan
ts completed a
101
-
item survey comprised of:

a mental health questionnaire

a student concerns survey

a college retention survey
This study was part of a larger, semester
-
long examination of college adjustment in
first
-
semester traditional
-
age college students. We examined whether students

college
adjustment and perceptions of retention differed as a function o
f place of residence
(i.e.,

on campus

or

off campus

) during the first semester. Near the beginning (time 1)
and again near the end (time 2) of their first semester, 221 stu
dents (63 males,
158 females) completed a 200
-
item survey assessing their adjustment to college, their
worries and concerns about college, and their perceived retentio
n in college. Preliminary
results suggest that at time 1, students residing off campus rep
orted higher anxiety and
career problem subscale scores and more frequent thoughts about
taking a semester off
than students residing on campus. Overall, however, there were n
o group differences
for perceptions of retention as a function of place of residency
at time 2. Students
residing on campus at time 2, however, reported greater particip
ation in student
organizations than those residing off campus. These findings sug
gest that students
residing off campus may experience greater difficulty adjusting
to college initially than
those who reside on campus.
ABSTRACT
METHOD
INTRODUCTION
Terri L. Proctor & Michelle E. Boyer
-
Pennington, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
Middle Tennessee State University
PREDICTIONS

Students residing on campus at the beginning of the first semes
ter would have better
adjustment scores on the
College Adjustment Scales
than students residing off
campus.

Students residing on campus at the beginning of the first semes
ter would report more
positive perceptions of future college retention at both time
1 and time 2.

Students residing on campus at the beginning of the first semes
ter would have
different concerns than students residing off campus .
RESULTS
DISCUSSION
COLLEGE ADJUSTMENT

Time 1

Students who lived
off campus
(
M
= 25.68,
SD
= 7.82) scored
higher
on the
Anxiety
subscale of the
CAS
than those who lived on campus (
M
= 23.48,
SD
= 7.73),
F
(1,
217) = 4.36,
p < .05.
See Table 1.

Students who lived
off campus
(
M
= 21.18,
SD
= 9.38) scored
higher
on the
Career
Problems subscale of the
CAS
than those who lived on campus (
M
= 18.33,
SD
= 7.43),
F
(1, 218) = 6.33,
p
< .05. See Table 1.

No other
CAS
subscale scores showed a significant difference at time 1.

Time 2

Students who lived
on campus at time 1
(
M
= 1.94,
SD
= .99)
reported participation in
more student organizations at time 2
than those who lived
off campus
at time 1
(
M
= 1.63,
SD
= .84),
F
(1, 220) = 6.41,
p
< .05.
These results reveal that students who live off campus at t
he beginning of the first semester report higher anxiety
and may experience greater initial difficulty adjusting to colle
ge than those who live on campus. In addition, results
show that off campus students also report greater career problem
s at the beginning of the semester than on campus
students. Previous research shows that the first two weeks of th
e academic semester is the most tenuous for students,
and that there is a relationship between student success and soc
ial and academic integration. It may be that on
campus students experience less anxiety, less work related probl
ems, and less difficulty adjusting to college at the
beginning of the semester due to the close proximity of social a
ctivities and a stronger engagement with the academic
environment. Additionally, students

perceptions of retention differed only at the beginning of the
semester, wherein off
campus students reported being more likely to take a semester of
f than on campus students. Perhaps higher anxiety
and greater difficulty adjusting at the beginning of the semeste
r contributes to off campus students

thoughts about
taking a semester off. There were no other significant differenc
es in perceptions of retention at either time point. Both
on campus and off campus students reported similar concerns at t
he beginning of the semester, however, on campus
students reported concerns about diet/exercise and romantic rela
tionships in their top 10 concerns while off campus
students reported concerns about family expectations and getting
enough sleep in their top 10 concerns. This is
interesting since demographics show the majority of students we
re unmarried (91%), childless (99%), and resided
fairly evenly between on campus (54.8%) and off campus (45.2%) l
ocations. The remaining top 10 concerns were
similar for both groups at time 1. These results have implicatio
ns for services directed at off campus students
especially at the beginning of the semester.
CONCERNS AT TIME 1

On campus and off campus students reported similar top 10 concer
ns; however, each group reported 2 different
concerns in their top 10 than the other group. See Table 2.

Students who lived
on campus
(
M
= 3.61,
SD
= 1.08) reported
diet and exercise
and
romantic relationships
in their top 10 concerns.

Students who lived
off campus
(
M
= 3.67,
SD
= 1.06) reported
getting enough sleep
and
family expectations
in their top 10 concerns.
RETENTION

Time 1

Students who lived
off campus
(
M
= 1.62,
SD
= .88) reported
being more likely to take
a semester off
than those who lived on campus (
M
= 1.38,
SD
= .85),
F
(1, 215) = 4.11,
p
< .05. See Table 2.

No other significant differences were found for perceptions of r
etention at time 1.

Time 2

Place of residence
at time 1
was not related to perceptions of retention at
time 2
.
53.4%
1.4%
23.5%
20.4%
1.4%
On Campus Dormitory
On Campus Greek Housing
Off Campus with Family
Off Campus with Friends
Off Campus Alone
Participants

N = 221

63 males, 158 females

82% Caucasian

99.5% enrolled full time

91% unmarried

99% childless

54.8% residing on campus (see Figure 1)

45.2% residing off campus (see Figure 1)
METHOD (con

t)
Figure 1
Place of Residence at Time 1






Table 2












Top 10 Concerns












Time 1








ON CAMPUS

M

SD



OFF CAMPUS

M

SD


Type of Concern





Type of Concern




1

Passing a test


4.03

0.97


Passing a test


4.14

0.93













2

Accomplishing every
thing to do


3.78

1.01


Being overwhelmed



3.92

0.98


that day






















3

Managing time


3.76

1.00


Passing a class


3.89

1.31













4

Passing a class


3.72

1.31


Managing time


3.84

1.05













5

Completing assignments on ti
me

3.69

1.26


Completing assignments on time

3.80

1.13













6

Being overwhelmed


3.69

1.17


Accomplishing everything to do


3.75

1.04








that day
















7

Diet and Exercise


3.61

1.08


Getting enough sleep


3.67

1.06













8

Writing Papers


3.43

1.16


Writing papers


3.59

1.08













9

Romantic relationships

3.42

1.17


Getting to places on time

3.59

1.22













10

Getting to places on time

3.36

1.13


Family expectations


3.38

1.18


On Campus Off Campus
n % n %
Male 39 32.2 24 24.0
Female 82 67.8 76 76.0
Total 121 100.0 100 100.0







26

PERCEPTIONS OF ADJUSTMENT AND RETENTION
IN FIRST
-
SEMESTER COLLEGE STUDENTS
Terri L. Proctor, Michelle E. Boyer
-
Pennington, PhD, & Scott Szabo, BS
Middle Tennessee State University
ABSTRACT
The present study was a semester
-
long examination of first
-
semester college students

adjustment issues and
concerns, in particular, those aspects of adjustment that might
impact future retention. At the beginning of the
semester (time 1), participants completed the
College Adjustment Scales
(
CAS
; Anton & Reed, 1991),
demographic and mental health history questions, and were survey
ed about their worries and concerns
regarding college and their perceived retention in college. Near
the end of the semester (time 2), changes in
adjustment to college were assessed, and participants were again
surveyed about their concerns and perceived
retention in college. Results suggest that perceptions of retent
ion change over the first semester. At time 1,
participants reported few thoughts about dropping out of college
and a high likelihood of returning the next
semester and of graduating. At time 2, however, participants rep
orted having significantly more thoughts about
dropping out of college and a greater likelihood of reducing cou
rse hours the next semester and of taking a
semester off before graduation. Correlational analyses indicate
that some perceptions of retention were related
to adjustment and certain concerns. However, it is unclear the e
xtent to which perceptions of retention are
predicted by adjustment and concerns.
INTRODUCTION
METHODOLOGY
RESULTS
DISCUSSION
The present study was a semester
-
long examination of first
-
semester college students

adjustment and
concerns, in particular, those aspects of adjustment that might
affect retention. Although researchers have
examined various factors thought to play a role in students

success, and past research has explored the
frequency of mental illness and adjustment problems in college p
opulations (Kadison & DiGeronimo, 2004;
NIMH, 2005), little research has examined the relation between m
ental health, adjustment, and college retention
in traditional
-
age college students.
Traditional
-
age college students may be especially vulnerable to developing
a mental health problem due to
their age and the
stress
of adjusting to the demands of college. Previous research has es
timated that
approximately 50% of first
-
year students may experience some degree of difficulty adjusting
to college life due
to stress (Kadison & DiGeronimo, 2004), and 50% of incoming fres
hmen are likely to develop some type of
mental illness during the first year of college (ACHA, 2003). Si
nce 1988, the likelihood that a college student will
experience depression has doubled and suicidal ideation has trip
led (Benton, Robertson, Tseng, Newton, &
Benton, 2003).
Still unknown to researchers, however, is the relation betw
een adjustment problems, mental health, and
perceptions of retention. This study addressed the following que
stions:

What are the most common concerns about college life r
eported by first
-
semester, traditional
-
age
college students?

How are students

concerns at the beginning and end of the first semester related
?

What is the relation between perceived retention at th
e beginning of the first semester and perceived
retention at the end of the first semester?

How are students

concerns related to perceived retention during the first semest
er?

How is adjustment to college related to perceived rete
ntion in college?
PARTICIPANTS
Participants were 221 first
-
semester, traditional
-
age college students (63 males, 158 females, 82% Caucasian).
The majority of participants were full time (99.5%), unmarried (
91%), and childless (99%).
MATERIALS

Demographic questionnaire
.
Nineteen questions addressed participants

background and characteristics
(e.g., age, marital status). Sixteen questions addressed
participants

mental health history (e.g., counseling
history).

College Adjustment Scales
(
CAS;
Anton & Reed, 1991). This 108
-
item instrument assesses 9 areas of college
adjustment: (a) anxiety; (b) depression; (c) suicidal ide
ation; (d) substance abuse; (e) self
-
esteem problems;
(f) interpersonal problems; (g) family problems; (h) acad
emic problems; and (i) career problems. Responses
are made using a 4
-
point Likert
-
type format (1 =
not at all
, 2 =
slightly true
, 3 =
mainly true
, 4 =
very true
).

Changes in college adjustment survey
.
This 20
-
item survey was designed to assess changes in the 9
dimensions of the
CAS
(e.g.,

I worry about things

). Each item is rated from 1 =
considerably more
often/considerably worse
to
5
= considerably less often/considerably better
.

Student concerns survey
.
This survey consists of 47 items related to college adjustment (
e.g., choosing a
major, public speaking). Each item is rated from 1 =
never
to 5 =
very often
. Participants also rank order their
top 10 concerns.

Student retention questions
.
This survey consists of 10 questions about students

perceptions of future
retention in college. Responses are made along a scale of
1 =
definitely unlikely
or
never
to 5 =
very likely
or
always
.
PROCEDURE

Time 1
. During weeks 3 and 4 of the Fall 2005 semester, participants c
ompleted a 200
-
item survey
comprised of (a) a demographic and mental health history
questionnaire, (b) the
CAS
(Anton & Reed,
1991), (c) a student concerns survey, and (d) a college r
etention survey.

Time 2
. Two weeks before the end of the Fall 2005 semester, participan
ts completed a 101
-
item survey
comprised of (a) a mental health questionnaire, (b) the c
hanges in college adjustment survey, (c) the
student concerns survey, and (d) the college retention su
rvey.
Student Concerns

At both time points, students rated the same 10 concerns highes
t; however

passing a
class,


completing assignments on time,


writing papers,

and

being overwhelmed

decreased significantly over time. See Figure 1.
Changes in Perceived Retention Over Time
In general, at
time 1
, students reported:
1. few thoughts about dropping out
2. a high likelihood of returning to MTSU the next semester
3. a high likelihood of graduating from MTSU (see Table 1)
At
time 2
, however, students reported:
1. being more likely to take a semester off before graduati
on
2. having more thoughts about dropping out of college
3. having more thoughts about taking a semester off
4. a lower likelihood of graduating from MTSU
5. a greater likelihood of transferring
6. a greater likelihood of reducing course hours the next s
emester
Concerns and Retention

Time 1
. Increased thoughts of dropping out were related to roommate is
sues, post
-
college
plans, homesickness, being overwhelmed, adapting to change, a
nd being in control,
all
p
s < .001. No concerns were related to perceived likelihood of gr
aduating from MTSU or
perceived likelihood of returning next semester.

Time 2
. More frequent thoughts about dropping out were related to maki
ng decisions,
passing a class, completing assignments on time, writing papers,
choosing a major, paying
for school, post
-
college plans, and getting married. Perceived likelihood of retu
rning next
semester was related to sexual orientation. Once again, concerns
were not related to
likelihood of graduating from MTSU.
Adjustment and Retention

Time 1.
Increased thoughts about dropping out of college were positivel
y correlated with
scores on all 9 of the
CAS
subscales (all
p
s < .001), but at
time 2
, increased thoughts were
positively related to scores on only the Anxiety, Depression, Se
lf
-
Esteem, Academic, and
Careers subscales.

Time 1.
Likelihood of returning next semester ratings were negatively c
orrelated with scores
on the Self
-
Esteem subscale,
p
< .001, but at
time 2
, ratings were not significantly correlated
with scores on any of the
CAS
subscales, all
p
s > .001.

Likelihood of graduating from college ratings were not significa
ntly correlated with
CAS
subscale scores at either time, all
p
s > .001.
These results suggest that perceptions of college retention
change over the first semester.
Although students reported having few thoughts about dropping ou
t of school or taking a
semester off and a low likelihood of taking a semester off befor
e graduation at both time
points, their reported likelihood of transferring and reducing c
ourse hours changed
significantly over the semester. Correlational analyses suggest
that student adjustment and
concerns were related to frequency of thoughts about dropping ou
t of college although
concerns and adjustment were not related to other aspects of ret
ention. Students

top
concerns remained constant over time. Future research will focus
on the extent to which
adjustment scores, concerns, and student characteristics predic
t retention over time and the
role of mental health in retention.
Table 2
Adjustment and Retention
______________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
_____________________
CAS
Subscale
Perceived Retention Question
Anxiety Depression Suicide Subst
ance Use Self
-
Esteem Interpersonal Family Acad
emic Career
T1 T2 T1 T2
T1 T2 T1 T2 T1
T2 T1 T2 T1 T2
T1 T2 T1 T2
____________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
____________
Likelihood of taking next semester off .19** .20*
* .22*** .15*
.09 .07 .17* .03
.27*** .19** .09 .11 .10 .
08 .21** .22** .14* .08
Likelihood of taking a semester off .14* .
16* .19** .15* .05 .09 .
16*
.16
* .24*** .17* .09 .13*
.13 .20** .18** .23*** .16* .17*
Frequency of thoughts about dropping
out of college
.36*** .26*** .33*** .24*** .33
*** .17* .22** .10 .29** .25***
.26*** .15* .19** .14* .21**
.26*** .24*** .28***
Frequency of thoughts about taking a
semester off
.31*** .28*** .33*** .29***
.29
*** .25*** .19** .13 .28*** .31***
.23** .21** .24*** .26*** .24***
.30*** .19** .32***
Likelihood of returning next semester
-
.13
-
.10
-
.18*
-
.10
-
.18**
-
.17*
-
.20**
-
.13
-
.24***
-
.10
-
.11
-
.06
-
.01
-
.05
-
.16*
-
.10
-
.07
-
.12
Likelihood of graduating from MTSU
-
.09 .01
-
.15*
-
.00
-
.16*
-
.04
-
.10
-
.07
-
.10
-
.02
-
.13
-
.06
-
.01 .05
-
.10 .03
-
.03
-
.06
Likelihood of transferring .13
.07 .17* .08 .03 .05
.04 .06 .05 .05
.10 .09 .07 .00 .12 .04
.10 .16*
Likelihood of reducing hours next
semester
.04
-
.04 .03 .01 .08
-
.02 .00
-
.03 .04 .00 .10 .00
.08
-
.04 .13 .04
-
.01 .00
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________
*
p
< .05, **
p
<.01, ***
p
< .001.
Table 1
Changes in Perceived Retention Over Time
___________________________________________
Time 1
Time 2
___________________________________________
Retention Question
M SD
M SD
df
t____
Likelihood of Taking Next
1.11 .44 1.18 .59
216
-
1.82
Semester Off
Likelihood of Taking a Semester
Off Before Graduation 1.34 .77
1.55 1.00 216
-
3.84**
Frequency of Thoughts About
Dropping Out of College
1.30 .69 1.78 1.10 216
-
7.30**
Frequency of Thoughts About
Taking a Semester Off
1.49 .87 1.90 1.19 216
-
5.80**
Likelihood of Returning to
MTSU Next Semester
4.65 .92 4.49 1.09 216
2.42
Likelihood of Graduating From
MTSU
4.30 1.04 4.00 1.31 215
3.23*
Likelihood of Transferring
2.22 1.31 3.98 1.03 215
-
16.95**
Likelihood of Reducing Course
Hours Next Semester
1.36 .82 3.45 1.39 211
-
19.24**
______________________________________________________________
___________
*
p
< .005, **
p
< .001
Figure 1
. Top 10 Concerns
TYPE OF CONCERN









Bonus:
The Research Proposal


You do not need to know about research proposals f
or the McNair Program

per se
:

your Research
Action Plan serves as your rese
arch proposal.

The reason this section is called a bonus is that it
(hopefully) will help you in graduate school and in your career.




27

In the future, when your research will have to be approved by others, whether by a dissertation
committee or by a funding

source, you will need to write a research proposal. This is a vitally
important document. In graduate school it can determine whether or not your dissertation topic
is approved. Once you have earned your doctorate, it can determine whether or not you will

receive funding to conduct publishable research which, in turn, helps determine your academic
success (promotion, tenure, professional reputation).


A research proposal is an academic instrument that shares attributes with both an architectural
plan and a

legal contract. As a plan, it specifies exactly the problem you will research, the methods
you will use to gather data on this subject, and the analysis techniqu
es you will use to interpret

the data. As a contract, it specifies exactly what activities you

will engage in, how long it will take,
and


if sponsored research


how the money will be spent.


The main purpose of the proposal is to convince others that your research is important and
that you are qualified to conduct it.



Although consequential as

the proposal is to you, the readers of your proposal may give it as lit
tle
as 10 minutes of their time (and if you have applied to a foundation
for research money
in a
subject area that the

foundation
does not sponsor, one minute may suffice
)
.

Members of
a
dissertation committee may have heavy teaching loads, administrative duties and their own
research to conduct. A committee at a foundation may have to read (or scan) hundreds of
proposals in order to find those few that can be funded. Thus, you must capt
ure your readers’
attention quickly, be clear and precise in your presentation, omit all extraneous material but leave
no unanswered questions. A tall order!


Because your goal is to convince others to approve your research project or to give you money to
conduct it, you want to demonstrate by your proposal that your research will meet the highest
standards. That means your proposal must be of the highest standard because it is assumed that
your research will be no better than your proposal. If your proposa
l is sloppy (lots of misspellings,
for instance), it is assumed that your research will be sloppy. If you begin with “background”
about how you became interested in the topic, very likely your proposal will be dismissed because
it appears that you cannot d
istinguish between what is relevant and what is irrelevant. If your
research question is not stated clearly or if you fail to make a connection between your question
and the data you propose to collect, it is likely that your research will also be conceptu
ally inept. If
the terms you use in the research proposal are murky, it is assumed that your research will be as
well.


A good way to ensure that your proposal is a good one is to ask as many people as possible to
give it 10 minutes (same as you’ll likely

get) and jot down in the margins their suggestions for
improvement. You may find that what seemed clear to you is stated in such a way that it is
apparently not clear to others. Someone may suggest a methodology that is better suited for
your study than t
he one you chose. Someone else may point out that you contradict yourself
somewhere. And so on. Another advantage of asking others to critique your proposal is that it
allows you to set it aside for awhile and come back to it with fresh eyes.


What goes in
to a proposal?



28

You will want to consult the guidelines of the department or government agency or foundation
that requires the proposal. These specific guidelines take precedence over any others.

An example of the sections required for a dissertation propo
sal in political science at Vanderbilt
University

is shown below
. Universities vary in th
eir requirements, of course, as do

departments
within universiti
es
. When you are in graduate school and have a password to the non
-
public parts
of the university’s web
site, you can find the requirements you will need for your department.


Dissertation Proposal Guidelines (Vanderbilt, political science):



Title


One sentence description


Abstract of one paragraph to a maximum of one page


The problem and its significanc
e (include hypotheses)


Literature to which the project contributes


Resources available at Vanderbilt for the research


Method and procedure


Tentative chapter outlines


In general, research proposals include the following:



Title or title page

Descripti
on of the research topic


Why the topic is important


Literature review (and bibliography)


Data to be collected

Methodology


Description of how your findings will be disseminated (e.g., proposed journal
submissions)


Some proposals will also include a sep
arate section for expected results. Some proposals will
include a table of contents and appendices.


For research grants (sponsored research), you will also usually provide a description of the
personnel involved in the project, references, a timeline, an
d a budget.


Sources for more details


Much of the information for this handout was taken from the following websites. Reading the
guides in their entirety will pay dividends:


Beginner’s Guide to the Research Proposal

www.ucalgary.ca/md/CAH/research/res_prop.htm


Teaching the Research Proposal

www.csupomona.edu/~uwc/non_protect/faculty/ResearchPro
-
art.ht
m


Proposal Writer’s Guide

www.research.umich.edu/proposals/pwg/pwgcontents.html


29


The Art of Writing Proposals

http://fellowships.ssrc.org/art_of_writing_proposals/printable.html








Appendix A
: APA, MLA, Chicago Styles


www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Gui
des/Internet/Style.html


Scroll down the page and click the appropriate style.



Appendix

B: Creating a PowerPoint Poster

See the following page.





























30

C
reating a
PowerPoint Poster


Copied from MTSU website
: http://etis.web.mtsu.edu/powerpoint_poster.htm


Note:
You can create and customize your own PowerPoint poster or use a readymade template.
Regardless, you need to set the poster
width
and
height
equa
l to
40 inches
and
32 inches
,
respectively
[for landscape] or
32 inches
and
40 inches
, respectively [for portrait].

You may
treat this as the new CBAS standard for poster size


If you do not know how to set these
dimensions
, then

please follow the instr
uctions under Page Setup.


Page Setup



When
you o
pen PowerPoint
program, click
File
and select
Page Setup
, you will see a
dialog box as shown in Fig. 1. Enter
48
and
3
6
in the
Width
and
Height
boxes and select
Landscape
, and click
OK
.




Fig. 1


Fr
ee PowerPoint Templates


If you want to use readymade poster templates, go
to
the following website and download
the
templates
you want.


http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=Free+PowerPoint+templates&fr=FP
-
tab
-
web
-
t500&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF
-
8


http://office.microsoft.com/en
-
us/templates/CT101527321033.aspx?a
v=ZPP
(Browse “Template
Categories”)


Open the template in Powe
r
Point and fill in blocks and boxes with text and pictures
by following
the directions below
.






31


Creating a PowerPoint Poster


Note: You can cr
eate a plain and simple poster with your text, pictures and graphs. The
following tips are intended for those who want to customize their posters with borders,
boxes, color fill, fill effects, etc.


1.

After starting PowerPoint click
File

at the top of the s
creen and select
New

for a
new slide. Click the blank slide layout pointed by an arrow in Fig. 2. Make sure
you set the width and height of your slide as shown in Fig. 1 (above).


2.

You can insert/paste pictures directly in the slide/poster whereas text

can be
entered or pasted only after creating a text box. Details are given in the later
steps.





Fig. 2



3.

You can customize your poster by creating geometric shapes such as rectangle,
circles and ellipses as shown in Fig. 2. You can place pictures
and text inside
these geometrical shapes. The
Draw

toolbar seen at the bottom of the screen has
many tools that you can use to create/customize a poster.


32


4.

If you do not see the
Draw

toolbar on your PowerPoint screen, then click
View

at
the top of the scre
en, select
Toolbars

and check the
Drawing

box.


5.

To change the fill color transparency of your geometrical shapes, double
-
click
anywhere inside the shape and a dialog box shown in Fig. 3 will appear. Move
the slide bar (pointed by an arrow) to the right or

left to increase or decrease
transparency.




Fig. 3


6.

You can change the fill color by clicking inside
Color

box as shown in Fig. 4.
You can select any of the colors displayed on the pallet or click
More Colors

for
other options.




33

Fig. 4

7.

When yo
u click
More Colors

a dialog box appears and if you click
Standard
, you
will see a dialog box shown in Fig. 5. You can select any color/hue by clicking
the displayed tiny hexagons.





Fig. 5





34

Fig. 6

8.

You can customize further by clicking
Gradient
,
Texture

and
Pattern

in
combination with
Colors
,
Transparency

and
Shading Styles

shown in Fig. 6.
Additionally, you can use a picture as background or to fill the geometrical
shape(s) of your poster by clicking
Picture
,
Select Picture

and selecting the
a
ppropriate from your collection (Fig. 7).




Fig. 7


9.

Clicking the
Textbox

tool on the
Draw

toolbar you can create a textbox in your
poster as shown in Fig 8. You can pick with your mouse cursor the first and
opposite corners of the textbox. You can
also click an edge of the textbox and
position it by holding down the left button of the mouse while moving the mouse.
You can enter or paste text in the textbox and click anywhere outside to finish the
process. You can change the font color, size and st
yle as in MS Word.





35

Fig. 8

10.

You can insert pictures by clicking the
Picture

tool (Fig. 9) of the
Draw

toolbar
and move them like the textboxes. You change the picture size by clicking the
picture, selecting it by a corner and moving the mouse while ho
lding down the
left button.



Fig. 9


























36