LBST 307: Climate Change Project

LBST 307: Climate Change Project

LBST 307 Climate Change Project

Climate change affects all areas of a child’s life. This project gives you an opportunity to use your creativity and to practice problem-based research to address these challenges. In this project, you will work in a group and focus on one aspect of climate change, children, and problem solving. At the end of the semester you will present your work to the class.


1. Professor Knowles-Yanez will collaborate with you to form groups and assign topics.

2. With your group, formulate a problem-based research question focused on your topic and children, youth, or adolescents. (See on Cougar Courses “George Washington University: How to Write a Research Question”).

3. Strategize with your group about the climate change “product” you will produce. Please refer to Professor Knowles-Yanez's assignment guidelines in Cougar Courses for the list of possible products.

4. Prepare a project proposal.

5. Conduct a literature review in academic and popular literature (See on Cougar Courses “Rutger’s List of Scholarly Journals, and also consider interviewing experts).

6. Create your product.

7. Write a scholarly paper on your problem-based research question and product.




Distinguishing Between Primary Research Articles & Review Articles

Distinguishing Between Primary Research Articles & Review Articles

Primary Research Articles and Review Articles

Primary Research Article

A primary research article reports on an empirical research study conducted by the authors. It is almost always published in a peer-reviewed journal. This type of article:

  • Asks a research question or states a hypothesis or hypotheses
  • Identifies a research population
  • Describes a specific research method
  • Tests or measures something
  • Includes a section called "method" or "methodology." This may only appear in the article, not the abstract.
  • Includes a section called "results."

Review articles

Review articles are NOT primary research articles; they are a summarization of the current state of research on a given topic. Review articles provide information on the main researchers in a field, significant gaps in research, major advances and discoveries, and future steps. They are good places to go if you are interested in getting a basic idea of your topic.


Additional resources

Find and Use Review Articles (WI+RE, UCLA Library) - provides an overview and examples of differences between primary research articles and review articles.


Strategies for Reading Scholarly Articles

Strategies for Reading Scholarly Articles

Strategies for reading scholarly articles

When reading a scholarly article, consider the following:

1. Know your research question: As you explore resources, your research question may change or evolve; still, you want to maintain a solid research focus.

2. You don't have to read the entire article from beginning to end: Start with the Title and Abstract, which give you the purpose of the article, a small amount of context, and a summary of the findings. After you read these elements, ask yourself:

Do the Title & Abstract help add to your understanding of the topic? Do they provide answers to your research question(s)? 

If they don't do any of these things, you should locate a different article. But if they add to your understanding, move on to the Introduction and Conclusion sections of the article. After reading these areas, ask yourself:

What did the authors want to learn; what did they study? (Review the thesis statement, research question, hypothesis)

Next, take a deeper look at the Results section, which includes specific pieces of data, statistics, or examples from the study. Afterwards, move on to the Discussion section, which interprets these results and helps you understand why they're important.

If it takes too much effort to make the article "fit" into your research, set it aside and move on to the next one. After reading the whole article, ask yourself:

How does the article answer my research question(s)?

3. Read the References/Bibliography section: Reading references or works cited may lead you to other critical resources.

4. Annotate the article as you read: Keeping your research question(s) in mind as you annotate (mark up) the article. Paraphrase key information and concepts that can be cited in your research assignment.

5. Read the article at least twice: Scholarly articles are incredibly complex, so definitely read twice to make sure you understand the content.

Additional Resources:

Art of Reading a Journal Article - Methodically and Effectively

Reading a Social Science-related scholarly article

Evaluation during Reading (Purdue OWL)

Reading a scholarly article (video) - Kishwaukee College Library

How to read a scholarly article (Western University)





Determining Credibility of Your Sources

Determining Credibility of Your Sources

Credibility of sources

Determining credibility of your sources is critical to selecting appropriate information sources for your research assignments. Scholarly journals are regarded as the most credible types of sources because of the rigorous peer review process they undergo.

You will likely consult non-scholarly sources including newspaper articles and websites for general background information on your chosen topic; thus, you will also need to determine credibility of these sources.

Here are some ways to identify credibility:

  • Can you identify the author(s)? If the source is anonymous, why?
  • Can you identify author credentials (education, job expertise)? Can these be verified elsewhere?
  • Is the author affiliated with an academic institution or credible organization?
  • Is there an "About Us" page that describes the organization?
  • Do a Google search for the author's name (enclose in quotation marks) and see what kind of sites come up. Do they seem credible?
  • Does the information have grammatical/spelling errors? 
  • Does it list sources or links to factual information? Are the links updated or do they lead to 404 error pages?
  • Is there a bibliography?
  • Can this information be verified elsewhere?
  • What kind of editorial vetting did the information undergo?
  • Is the research methodology adequately explained?
  • Who is the intended audience for the information? Academics? General public?
  • Is the information appropriate for your research assignment?
  • Does the author present objective arguments or make it clear when they're expressing opinions?
  • Is the website personal or institutional?
  • What other views are expressed?
  • Are there advertisements? If so, how are they differentiated from the content?
  • What is the purpose of the information? To inform? To persuade? To market?
  • What does the URL say about the website? .com=Commercial, .edu=Educational, .gov=Government, .mil=Military, .org=Non-Profit
  • Is the information outdated or up to date?
  • Can you ascertain content's date of creation?
  • Are the links working?
  • Credible websites will display "last updated" dates; working links indicate the website is being maintained regularly.

Source: University of South Carolina, Upstate Library



Longform Journalism

Longform Journalism

Longform Journalism

For students gathering background information and developing foundational knowledge on a research topic, longform journalism sources can be valuable for distilling critical ideas and formulating research questions. 

Lengthier than your average newspaper article, longform journalism integrates various multimedia tools including video and interactive graphics and data to propel feature storytelling and engage readers. Longform tends to be substantive in content, underscoring immersion reporting, investigative techniques, and sustained narrative (Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications).

Longform Article Examples

Here We Abandon All Destinations

The Everything Town in the Middle of Nowhere

Why Is It So Hard to Stop People from Dying of Snakebite?

The Case for Reparations

Longform Periodicals

These longform periodical titles are freely available on the Internet (limited article access) and via the CSUSM Library's databases. 

The Atlantic Monthly (Internet) / The Atlantic Monthly (CSUSM Library) Covers news, culture, politics, technology, and more through multimedia content, articles, and its flagship magazine.

The Economist (CSUSM Library) News and opinion on international politics, business, finance, science, and technology.

The Nation (Internet) / The Nation (CSUSM Library) Established in 1865, one of the oldest, progressive news sources covering a variety of political and social issues.

The New Yorker (Internet) / The New Yorker (CSUSM Library) Features journalism on politics and social issues; includes incisive cartoons in each issue.

New York Times Magazine (Internet) / New York Times Magazine (CSUSM Library) Features longer articles than those typically found in the newspaper.

Longform Websites

The Conversation Independent news source from the academic and research community curated for the general public. (Note: These are not peer-reviewed, scholarly journal articles)

Epic Magazine Immersive narrative non-fiction articles.

Guernica Focuses on the intersection of art and politics. Content includes memoir, investigative reporting, commentary, and multimedia journalism that explores identity, conflict, culture, justice, science, and more.

JSTOR Daily Provides background information on a variety of topics in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Articles contextualize current events with academic scholarship. (Note: JSTOR Daily does not contain scholarly articles; you will find those in the JSTOR library database).

Longform Sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh's writing program, this site recommends new and classic non-fiction from around the web. 

Longreads Gathers stories from all over the web and also produces original content which includes in-depth profiles and feature articles.

Mosaic Longform articles on science-related topics.

Pacific Standard Publishes investigative pieces focusing on social and environmental justice.

ProPublica Nonprofit newsroom producing investigative journalism pieces focusing on government and politics, business, criminal justice, the environment, education, healthcare, immigration, and technology. 

The Verge Focuses on culture and technology.

Additional resources

Gathering Research Sources (differentiating between scholarly / substantive (longform) / editorial)




How do I structure a keyword search?

How do I structure a keyword search?

LBST 307 - How do I structure a keyword search?

Before you embark on your database search, take a few moments to identify keywords, which will be a timesaver for you. Some things to try:

  • Write down any research questions you have about your topic; these should be open-ended (starting with How...? or Why...?)
  • Identify the key concepts from your research question (look at the nouns)
  • Write down synonyms for those key concepts

Taking a few minutes to think about and identify some keywords before starting your search will help you search more efficiently, which will save you time (and frustration).

  • Identify important concepts from your research question (look for nouns)
  • Brainstorm some synonyms (to help you find more information)
  • Keep track of useful terms you discover during research and add those to your set of keywords

Ex. research question: How are youth building critical climate justice movements?

(Identify the keywords in this research question)

How are youth building critical climate justice movements?

youth climate justice activism
child* climate change social justice
adolescent global warming community organizing
teen* activism environmental*

Tips on searching the databases

Here are some general tips on searching for articles for your report:

Tip Examples
Use keywords, not long search phrases

Instead of searching for "How are youth building critical climate justice movements?" break down your search into the main keywords:

youth, climate justice, social movements

Use quotation marks (" ") to keep phrases together

Use AND to combine different keywords

"climate change" AND youth
Use OR to combine similar/associated keywords "climate change" or "global warming"
Look for ways to limit your search in the database You can often limit by type of article (scholarly and peer-reviewed), year of publicationsubject 

Databases for Liberal Studies 307 Research

Databases for Liberal Studies 307 Research

Most Useful

Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly
Academic Search Premier

This scholarly collection offers information in nearly every area of academic study including: computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies, and many more.

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1975 to current Most
Google Scholar CSUSM

Link to citations and full-text from your CSUSM Library databases and beyond!

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It current to current All
GreenFILE/Academic Search Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It current Most
Sociological Abstracts

Provides access to the latest international findings in theoretical and applied sociology, social science, and political science.

Links to full-text via Get-It 1963 to current All

Also Useful

Use these databases to search across newspapers and news magazines. To access full-text of the article, look for the GET-IT Button.

Most Useful

Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly
ProQuest - News & Newspapers

Search among ProQuest’s News & Newspapers databases

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1985 to current None

Covers news and business information, including Dow Jones and Reuters newswires and The Wall Street Journal, plus more than 8,000 other sources providing current news.

Full-text 1975 to current Some
Academic Search Premier

This scholarly collection offers information in nearly every area of academic study including: computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies, and many more.

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1975 to current Most

An important index to political, economic, and social issues in current debate.

Links to full-text via Get-It 1972 to current All
Ethnic NewsWatch

Full-text ethnic newspapers, searchable in English or Spanish.

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1992 to current None

GenderWatch contains publications which focus on how gender impacts a broad spectrum of subject areas. GenderWatch is a repository of an important historical perspective on the evolution of the women’s movement and the changes in gender roles.

Full-text 1970 to current All

Also Useful

Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly
San Diego Union Tribune (current coverage)

The San Diego Union-Tribune is the product of a merger of the San Diego Union, founded in 1868, and the Evening Tribune, founded in 1895. Published from an editorial, printing and business plant in San Diego's Mission Valley, it is the second-oldest newspaper in Southern California, and the oldest business in San Diego County; an area known as a popular vacation destination and home to Mission Bay Park, the largest man-made aquatic park in the country, consisting of 4,235 acres. The Union-Tribune has won numerous journalism awards over the years, including the Pulitzer Prize, and features daily news, sports, shopping, and entertainment coverage for the San Diego area.

Full-text 1983 to current Some
San Diego Union Newspaper Archive

Collection of newspapers published in San Diego under various titles, including the San Diego Union.

Full-text 1872 to 1983
Los Angeles Times (1996-present)

Los Angeles Times articles from 1996-present. For articles published prior to 1996, see the Los Angeles Times (Historical) Database.

Full-text 1996 to present None
Los Angeles Times (Historical)

Archival issues and articles beginning with 1881. Issues published during the past twenty-four years are not available in this database. Check ProQuest or Factiva databases for the material not held in this collection.

Full-text Archive None
New York Times (Current, 1980-present)

Articles from the New York Times from 1980-present.  For articles prior to 1980, see the New York Times (Historical Collection) Database.

Full-text 1980 to present None
New York Times (Historical Collection)

The New York Times Historical Collection provides full page and article images including the NY Daily Times (1851-1857). The most recent four years not included in this historical collection can be searched through ProQuest Direct, LexisNexis or Factiva.

Full-text Archive None
African American Newspapers, 1827-1998

Newspapers digitized from 37 states chronicling African American experiences and influence in a variety of events from the early 19th through late 20th centuries.

Full-text 1827 to 1998 None
Hispanic American Newspapers, 1808-1980

Spanish and English language newspapers offering news, advertisements, opinion and more from across the nation reflecting contemporary thought and activity.

Full-text 1808 to 1980 None