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HHP 835: Motor Learning (Bechard)

Students of HHP 835 will find recommended resources and research tips on this guide to assist with the literature review assignment. Includes information on where to search, how to search, how to cite, and more.

Reading Research Articles

How to Embed This Tutorial in Blackboard:

  1. Select and copy (Ctrl+C) all of the following Embed Code text:
    <iframe title="Reading a Research Article" width="768" height="432" allowTransparency="true" mozallowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen allowfullscreen style="background-color:transparent;" frameBorder="0" src=""></iframe>  
  2. In Blackboard, create and name an Item (or any other Blackboard tool that includes the standard Text Editor) 
  3. Click the HTML button at the bottom right of the Tool Buttons to open the HTML editor 
  4. Paste (Ctrl+V) the embed code within the HTML window and click Update and Submit. 

Link to VidGrid Video:

Taking Notes

As You Read

  • Read the Abstract First: Previews the entire article, makes it easier to judge whether it is relevant.
  • Jump Around: Scholarly articles don't have to be read like a book, paragraph by paragraph, line by line. It's ok to skim and scan! The introduction and conclusion of the article will help you learn more about eh topic and what the authors found out in the process.
  • Look at the Tables, Charts and Graphs: Get a better idea of the results of the research or analytical study. 

Find More

  • Mine the References List: Consult the introduction and references for other potential sources to follow up on. Look at the resources this author used as evidence and investigate if those resources may also help you answer your research question. Watch the video below about citation tracing and citation management and explore the "Using Zotero" tab.
  • Look to the Future: Using Google Scholar or another citation tracing tool, search the article you just read to see who else has cited it since its publication. Which articles have built on this article's research? Perhaps they will also help you answer your research question.
  • Search Until You've Answered Your Question: Use any new keywords, concepts, or phrases you've learned from this source to use as a new search. As you read more about your topic, you may identify gaps in what other information would be helpful for you to completely answer your question. Don't just stop at the minimum number of sources, focus on answering your question.

Take Notes

Taking notes while you read is just as important as the process of reading. A good set of notes will help you organize your thoughts, remember what you read days later, and provide the exact information you need while you are writing your paper. 

  • Mark It Up: Engage with your source! Take notes, highlight important sections. Look for what is missing as well as what is there. Focus on the information that relates to your research question. Note any new keywords or phrases that may help you as you continue searching for sources.
  • Distance Yourself from the Author's Words: After you read, write a paraphrase relevant sections of the article or write a summary of the entire article using your own words. Building this step into the research process encourages you to think critically about what you read and helps you build your argument based on the evidence in the source. It also helps take you one step away from the author's words, preventing some common plagiarism pitfalls. If you copy and paste any phrase or sentence, note the page that text came from. Especially for graduate-level research, you should be paraphrasing and summarizing the majority of your citations
  • Don't Forget YOUR Thoughts: As you engage with the source, jot down your thoughts about the source, the paraphrase, or a specific quote and how that connects back to your topic and your research question. Jot down any questions that this new information creates because this will help you identify gaps in your research. The key to academic writing is about what you think (your writing) and what others think (your sources) to help address a research question.


Tips for Taking Notes

Tracking Your Sources with Index Cards

One way to help track your sources is to create an index card for each idea. Each card would include a fact, quote, paraphrase, or summary from one source as evidence you may use in your literature review. By keeping separate notecards for each idea (you may have several notecards from each source), it makes it easier to organize your sources within your writing and within your reference list.

Zotero Citation Management Software

zotero logo

Software called citation managers can help you save, organize, and share research and citations.

A citation manager allows you to:

  • Import and export files
  • Import citation information like author, date, format, and title
  • Organize personal research libraries
  • Share resources with classmates and colleagues

Once you import a citation, you can:

  • Link to the original article
  • Save and take notes on resources, including annotating PDFs
  • Organize your sources using tags or folders
  • Create citations and bibliographies automatically

There are several brands of citation managers like Mendeley, EndNote, and RefWorks. Forsyth Library supports the free, open-source, citation manager called Zotero

Getting Started

Step 1: Install Zotero

You will need to download and install 2 pieces for Zotero to work correctly. Use the link above to download the following:

  • Zotero Standalone software application (Windows, macOS, Linux)
  • Zotero Connector for your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge)
  • (Optional)
    • Microsoft Word Plugin should be downloaded and installed automatically, but you can install it manually if necessary.
    • ZotFile is a free plugin that allows you to rename .pdf's saved through Zotero using the information in your citation. This allows you to keep better track of your downloaded files.
    • Zotero Bookmarklet allows you to save items to your Zotero library from a mobile device or a desktop browser that does not have Zotero Connector installed.
    • Other plugins are available to add more features and functionality since Zotero is open source

Step 2: Create a Zotero Account

Create a Zotero account in order to sync your Zotero library between multiple computers

Step 3: Use Zotero

View the video links and instructions below to familiarize yourself with Zotero and its features