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HWS220: Sports Psychology: Home

Finding the stuff

Search tips

  • Search phrases using "quotation marks" to keep the words together.
  • Use the psych terms in the sports databases and the sports terms in the psych databases. It sounds counterintuitive, but remember you'll find less articles in PsycINFO with football as a keyword than you will with steriods.
  • Narrow your topic by sport, gender, level of play, etc. Or try by cause, effect, treatment, or prevention.


Here are a few links to help you out with your APA citations.

What's the difference between scholarly and popular again?

You've heard there's a difference between scholarly and popularly sources. Check out this sock puppet theatre video to give you an idea of the difference.

Scholarly Sources vs Popular Sources from Kimbel Library on Vimeo.

That's not all though. Don't forget to think about who wrote the articles and who they are written for. Scholarly articles are written by...wait for it...scholars. And by scholars, we mean professors, researchers, and scientists: people who are experts in their fields. So who writes popular articles? For the most part it's journalists, whose expertise is usually writing, not the content area they are writing about.

As for audience, scholarly articles are written for other experts in the field and students in those areas. This means you'll sometimes get words or specialized terms that you may not know. Don't be afraid to look them up. Popular sources are written for everyone, so you get generalized language that might be a bit less specific.

Basically, they fit these criteria:

  • Articles written by professors or researchers
  • Designed for students, professors, & researchers
  • Articles reviewed in-depth by other researchers before publication
  • The articles will also contain a bibliography at the end of the article.


Subject Guide

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Becky Canovan
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563-589-3649 do I read this stuff?

Here are a few tips about reading those scholarly articles you found. Most important? Remember reading front to back is for novels and mysteries! Don't be afraid to read out of order.

  • Label the article parts
  • Start withthe abstract--its should unlock the rest of the article
  • Read back to front
  • Figure out what they found out first, then figure out how they got there
  • If the graphs don't make sense, ignore them and read their explanation of the graphs instead
  • Look up words you don't know
  • Summarize as you read--it saves time