Product Quick Look:
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 eachof the three items required (journal articles, book chapter, and otherscholarly resource).

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

Skills Builder 2: Effective Searching

In this week’s activity, you will begin to develop your onlinelibrary search skills which will enable you to tap into the richresources in the Northcentral Library. The Library’s collection includesextensive holdings in scholarly articles and book chapters–all theinformation you’ll need to do your coursework and research. While it maytake some practice to get used to doing online library searches, you’llfind that the results you get far surpass anything you could get fromjust searching the Internet. Library resources tend to be moreauthoritative, current, reliable, and accurate than resources gleanedfrom an Internet search. With Library searches, you can set your searchoptions to find full text articles (not just abstracts or summaries),limit your search to a certain time frame, and with some databases youhave the option of setting up a personal account where you maypermanently save resources and searches for future sessions You can alsocreate an online database using RefWorks to store your researchmaterials. For more information on RefWorks, see the Student Orientationpage 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 ofMarriage 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 otherassignments; so please select a topic in which you are interested; orone that was related to why you chose to pursue your degree; or one thatis 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 thanindividual terms. For example, if you are interested in furtherexploring bullying, think how this behavior can be understood frommultiple perspectives (the bully, the person who is being bullied, therespective families, etc.) and how the behavior can be understood bymultiple parties involved (e.g., consider different experiences and howthey change while the person is at school, at home, interacts with theirown peers, or interacts with the figures of authority, such as parentsor 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 thesearticles to write an essay in week 9. For example, if your topic is PTSDin military, to narrow it, find articles related to one aspect of thissubject, such as play therapy for kids with a parent experiencing PTSDfrom being in the military, how the PTSD affects the service members andtheir families, or what kind of family-based interventions arerecommended 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 aboutspecific interventions? Do you want qualitative results(stories/experiences) or quantitative (statistics/numbers)? Researchhelps you narrow and/or broaden your search based upon these types ofquestions.

Mastering the art of an effective search takes practice and by doingthis assignment, you will be off to a good start. Don’t plan on learningthis all in one day, but take a few days to practice and you shouldfind yourself becoming increasingly comfortable with searching. If youhave any trouble, or need assistance, you can contact the Library byusing 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 Bookpage for a book. Locate three peer-reviewed journal articles, one bookchapter, and one scholarly resource (website or other resource). Beginby creating a chart (a general example has been provided below) and listthe resources you find. You can use a Word table, and then include itwith the write-up described below so that you will submit one documentto 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 graduatestudies is the ability to synthesize the learned material. This skillwill allow you to create a foundation for your knowledge, to develop anability to convey your thoughts to your instructors and ultimately toyour clients, and to notice any gaps that you might want to cover laterthrough your work as MFTs. For example, if you are working with a couplefacing infidelity, you might be able to search for the currentliterature, convey it to your clients, and see what important aspectsyou 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 addressimportant aspects that your learned in each article. Please use onetable for all the articles, as it will help you to see the importantconvergent and divergent points across the articles and ultimatelyanswer the following questionHow might all of the articles tie togetherin forming a research question (e.g. – “I am curious about theimpact/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 ideasand concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughtsand insights relating directly to this topic. Your response shouldreflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhereto Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

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