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SFL 315: Effective Writing and Presenting: Research Quickstart

A research guide with resources to direct you to the most relevant databases and tools to write effectively.


Learning by Study and Also by Faith

We are invited to learn both by study and by faith (D&C 88:118).


Here's an example of a student writing his literature review who found that his diligent efforts were rewarded by help from the Spirit.


This talk gives sound advice about how to use discernment to sort facts from assumptions when doing research.

Research and Statistics on the Family

National Center for Family and Marriage Research


Pew Research Social Trends (2015)

#1  The American Family Today (complexity/diversity of families and maternal employment)

#2  Satisfaction, Time, and Support [in family life] (financial well-being, feelings about parenting, time demands)

#3  Parenting Approaches and Concerns (parenting styles, uses of discipline, parenting values)

#4  Child Care and Education: Quality, Availability, and Parental Involvement (academic pressure on children; involvement with child’s school, reading to children, daycare)

#5  Children’s Extracurricular Activities (relationship to parental income, children’s use of media, children’s daily schedules) (2017) 

provides key indicators related to demographics, family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment & safety, behavior, education, and health.


Institute for Family Studies Fast Stats Sheet 

family structure.


Kline, K. K., and Wilcox, W. B. (2014). Mother bodies, Father bodies: How parenthood changes us from the inside out. Institute for American Values.Retrieved from

A 50+ page report that discusses changes to physical bodies as a result of parenthood, similarities and differences between fathers and mothers, synergy between the genders, and work-family balance across the life span. 

Tips for searching databases

1. Identify key terms for your topic
2. Select appropriate search fields for your terms
3. Use Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT) to broaden or narrow your search
      i. AND is used to NARROW your search, combining two or more search topics
      ii. OR is used to BROADEN your search results
      iii. NOT is to ELIMINATE unwanted search results
4. To narrow your results further, explore the different databases and to find where you can adjust the date, request only peer-review articles, etc.
5. To include all variations of a word in your search, truncate terms by placing an asterisk (*) after the common root
      i. For example, famil* would search for family and families.

For more information, check out this tutorial!

Guidelines for Recognizing a Quality Source

When reviewing a source keep a few basic questions in mind:

1.  Who is the author(s) and what is their authority to speak to this matter?

2.  How recent in this information and does it rely on recently published sources?

3.  Does this information support my logical argument in an unbiased, authoritative way?

4.  Is this site's purpose profit-driven (.com) or other (.edu, .org, .or .gov)?