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Develop a chart that analyzes a search for three peer-reviewed journal articles, one book chapter, and one other scholarly resource.

One page written reaction paper regarding the process of finding each of the three items required (journal articles, book chapter, and other scholarly resource).

Skills Builder 1: Understanding Information Literacy
Review the Northcentral Information Literacy Tutorial (link found in the Weeks resources) to become familiar with information literacy, and to test your information literacy skills. Keep notes on the important points you discover there; these will be useful both in preparing assignments in this course, and in your other coursework at Northcentral.

Skills Builder 2: Effective Searching

In this week’s activity, you will begin to develop your online library search skills which will enable you to tap into the rich resources in the Northcentral Library. The Library’s collection includes extensive holdings in scholarly articles and book chapters–all the information you’ll need to do your coursework and research. While it may take some practice to get used to doing online library searches, you’ll find that the results you get far surpass anything you could get from just searching the Internet. Library resources tend to be more authoritative, current, reliable, and accurate than resources gleaned from an Internet search. With Library searches, you can set your search options to find full text articles (not just abstracts or summaries), limit your search to a certain time frame, and with some databases you have the option of setting up a personal account where you may permanently save resources and searches for future sessions You can also create an online database using RefWorks to store your research materials. For more information on RefWorks, see the Student Orientation page in the Library.

Therefore, carefully complete the tutorials, follow the directions for searching, and think positive thoughts! Start with the Northcentral Search like an Expert tutorial (link found in the Weeks resources) to find out how to get started with Library searching.

Skills Builder 3: Selecting a Topic

It is time to determine the topic related to the profession of Marriage and Family Therapy you may want to pursue for this assignment. You can find some ideas for topics here:

MFT Clinical Updates

Additionally, you may want to view the library tutorials on Finding a Research Topic and Preparing to Search (link found in the Weeks resources).

NOTE: You will use the sources here for the other assignments; so please select a topic in which you are interested; or one that was related to why you chose to pursue your degree; or one that is related to your professional “passion.”

Remember that the professional identity of a Marriage and Family Therapist is based on the foundation of Systems theory. Thus, while selecting a topic think of it in relational rather than individual terms. For example, if you are interested in further exploring bullying, think how this behavior can be understood from multiple perspectives (the bully, the person who is being bullied, the respective families, etc.) and how the behavior can be understood by multiple parties involved (e.g., consider different experiences and how they change while the person is at school, at home, interacts with their own peers, or interacts with the figures of authority, such as parents or teachers).

To complete this assignment, it might be helpful to review and search articles in the following Journals:

Additionally, choose a narrow topic as you will be using these articles to write an essay in week 9. For example, if your topic is PTSD in military, to narrow it, find articles related to one aspect of this subject, such as play therapy for kids with a parent experiencing PTSD from being in the military, how the PTSD affects the service members and their families, or what kind of family-based interventions are recommended as treatment options for the PTSD related to deployment. More specifically, are you interested in a certain demographic – race, age range, gender, type of service/branch? Are you curious about specific interventions? Do you want qualitative results (stories/experiences) or quantitative (statistics/numbers)? Research helps you narrow and/or broaden your search based upon these types of questions.

Mastering the art of an effective search takes practice and by doing this assignment, you will be off to a good start. Don’t plan on learning this all in one day, but take a few days to practice and you should find yourself becoming increasingly comfortable with searching. If you have any trouble, or need assistance, you can contact the Library by using the Ask a Librarian page.

For this assignment, you will conduct a search for resources in your chosen topic area. Be sure to start at the Databases or Find an Article page in the Library for the scholarly articles and the Find a Book page for a book. Locate three peer-reviewed journal articles, one book chapter, and one scholarly resource (website or other resource). Begin by creating a chart (a general example has been provided below) and list the resources you find. You can use a Word table, and then include it with the write-up described below so that you will submit one document to complete this assignment.


Topic: Student Engagement

Article Citation/Book Chapter/Scholarly Resource (website)



Search Limiter

Issues Improvements in Database/Website Searching Skills

Clouder, L., Broughan, C., Jewell, S., & Steventon, G. (2012). Improving student engagement and development through assessment: Theory and practice in higher education. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

EBSCOhost – contains various source types, allows one to save searches in a folder, etc.

portfolio assessment; higher education

Scholarly/Peer Reviewed

Date range 2007-2013

Keywords were too broad and produced too many results. Need to work on refining keyword searching.

The columns of the chart are as follows:

Then, conclude your assignment with some general responses to the following questions:

Skills Builder 4: Learning to Synthesize

One of the important skills that you will learn during your graduate studies is the ability to synthesize the learned material. This skill will allow you to create a foundation for your knowledge, to develop an ability to convey your thoughts to your instructors and ultimately to your clients, and to notice any gaps that you might want to cover later through your work as MFTs. For example, if you are working with a couple facing infidelity, you might be able to search for the current literature, convey it to your clients, and see what important aspects you will need to address during the session.

To start building this skill and in preparation to your 9th assignment for this course, please read about the importance of synthesis at

Then use the example of the table presented on the website to address important aspects that your learned in each article. Please use one table for all the articles, as it will help you to see the important convergent and divergent points across the articles and ultimately answer the following questionHow might all of the articles tie together in forming a research question (e.g. – “I am curious about the impact/influence of….on….”)?

Length: 3-4 pages (the chart on one page and a 1-2 page summary of your experience and the second chart of the 4th page)

Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

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