The guide was created to assist students taking the WRIT 107B course find reports, articles, and other sources that will provide the necessary context for their final reports.
Are we able to search multiple words in conjunction? If so, how?
Yes this is possible! This Advanced Search Strategies Infographic should help answer some of the initial advanced searching techniques (using AND, OR, and NOT) in your search. Sometimes too, it depends on the search tool you're using. Some databases like Business Source Complete will have 3 open search boxes to include multiple words. Databases like IBISWorld, however, opens with a single search box.
How can we search specific information, data for our smartphone app assignment?
It depends on what you're trying to accomplish in your research! In the case of your smartphone app research proposal, you will need to do a fair amount of secondary research. I have recommended 3 business databases the Library subscribes to that have helped students complete this assignment in the past. If/when you have determined what questions you're trying to answer or data you'd like to gather, it will make it a lot easier to choose which database will fit your needs. If you feel stuck and want some advice before you start your research, please email me or message me on Nectir.
In marketing plan, how can we estimate things such as cost, audience exposure?
For estimating things like advertising costs, I'd try to learn how similar companies are advertising their products (even if the product is just the app itself)
If you think you'd use Canva to create Facebook and Instagram ads, how much is a pro subscription to Canva? Similarly, if you want to put sponsored posts on Instagram, how much does that cost?
Since you're also making these decisions based on your ideal customers, if you can learn buying habits and attitudes of your ideal customer, that can help you decide where and how you'll advertise your app.
Finding the creativity to design a functional and demanding app. Which direction?
This is a fun questions hmm. I think I'd want to hear more from you and talk about where you might be struggling in the creativity area! This is definitely a question we can hash out over email or Zoom!
How to avoid bias in research?
My short answer is, you can't! Because research is gathered, analyzed, or facilitated by humans, we will never have research that lacks bias completely.
However, because that is the case it is especially important to review everything you are citing and where you get your information from. This thinking goes past just looking to see if the author(s) has credentials in the field of research they are publishing in, but also how they are conducting their research and for what purpose.
Do the authors have an underlying agenda that you notice while reading the articles and sources you've chosen?
Another thing to note too is that having an agenda, doesn't necessarily mean good or bad. Reviewing and analyzing sources for your research requires you to think critically about your research questions, the sources you cite, etc.
When you do a search on a particular topic area, are you seeing everyone agree with each other? where do you see opinions or research questions differ?
Look at the authors references, are there any? Is it clear to you where they're getting their data from? Do you see multiple articles citing the same data set? What could that tell you about that cited data set?
Think about your own motive for doing this research in the first place? Are the questions you're answering and including in your final project leaving out an important age, gender, economic group? Who's voices (by voices I mean the authors, only specific experiences) being left out?
While these are questions you can ask as you save every single article or source type, that's a lot of labor from the outset! I would recommend gathering a few sources that look relevant to your research, reading through them, asking yourself if the sources you have answer your questions fully? Or to the extent you're able? What's missing?
Based on your answers to those questions, go back to your databases or search engines and search some more. This process of questioning, searching, saving, reading/viewing, questioning, searching is a way of describing the research process!
As long as you set aside the time to do this searching, I think you will have a much richer understanding of your topic and where bias exists (within the sources you found and yourself!).