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Action Research at TCC: Getting Started

Action Research at TCC

Intro to Action Research

Focus the Study and Set the Stage:

1. Select a topic
2. Narrow the topic
3. Develop a research question
4. Identify the purpose of the study
5. Identify problems surrounding the study
6. Describe the context of the study
7. Identify central issues and subtopics

Summarized from Alber, Sandra M., A Toolkit for Action Research. Lanham, US: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010. 

Purpose of the literature review:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the field
2. Inform and shape the research project
3. Prepare future readers of the study to understand the context of the project

May include:

  • Rationale or why the study is important
  • Historical perspectives and seminal research
  • Key concepts
  • Current research
  • Theoretical perspectives
  • Key debates
  • Human development

Summarized from Alber, Sandra M., A Toolkit for Action Research. Lanham, US: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010. 

Marianne Myers and James Dodd presented this PowerPoint on Literature Review and Metadata at the Undergraduate Research Retreat

  • Choose a relatively focused topic or question
    • Create a list of keywords, including synonyms, to use in your search
  • Search for current relevant literature
  • Create a working outline for your literature review, remember that you are wanting to:
    • Define and clarify the issue
    • Summarize previous research into the subject
    • Identify relations, contradictions, gaps, and inconsistencies in the literature
    • Suggest the next steps in resolving the issue
  • Group notes from your references into the appropriate sections of your outline
  • Use a citation management tool, such as Zotero to assemble a bibliography of research cited in your Literature Review


This guide, Action Research at TCC, is a derivative of EDU 590/592: Action Research by Caitlin A. Balgeman, used under CC BY.  

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