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Physical Therapy

The Research Process

1. Identify & Develop your Topic: State your topic as a question. What do you hope to discover or learn? Once you have done this, choose some keywords or main concepts within your question. These will help you search for information

2. Find Background Information: Look up your keywords in dictionaries or encyclopedias. Read encyclopedia articles to set the context for your research. Additional background information may be found in your lecture notes, class Power Point presentations or textbook.

3. Use Catalogs to find Books and Media: Click on the tab called "PT Books" in the box above to see suggested books and to search for others. Make sure to keep track of the citation information (title, author, year, etc.) as you go.

4. Use Databases to Find Articles: Click on the tabs called "PT Databases" and "PT Journals" to find articles on your topic. The library subscribes to several clinical databases and journals. Use a database to search through all of our clinical journals. Use the journal tab to look for a specific journal or article.

5. Find Internet Resources: Use search engines like Google to search for information on your topic. Stick with information that comes from reliable sources like PT professional organizations or the National Library of Medicine. Avoid sites like Wikipedia or WebMD.

6. Evaluate What You Find: Look critically at the information you find, especially if it is from the internet. Ask yourself who has written it, when it was written, and why it was written?

7. Cite What You Find Using AMA Format: Give credit where credit is due; cite your sources. Use the AMA Citation Style page for help.

Find It!

Search the HELM Catalog to find books, films, and other materials available from the STCC Library and other community college libraries.

Suggested Titles


Medical law and ethics
By: Bonnie F. Fremgen
Call Number: KF3821.F74 2012

Evidence-Based Practice

Introduction to evidence-based practice in nursing and health care
By: Kathy Malloch
Call Number: RT42.I584 2006

Cultural Competence

Developing cultural competence in physical therapy practice
By: Jill Black Lattanzi & Larry D. Purnell
Call Number: RM705.L38 2006

Guide to culturally competent health care
By: Larry D. Purnell
Call Number: RA418.5.T73.P87 2009

Health Care Reform

The new health care system: Everything you need to know
By: David Nather
Call Number: KF3605.A328201.A21 2010

Health Care: Opposing Viewpoints
By: David M. Haugen & Susan Musser
Call Number: RA393.H374 2012

Follow the link below to find print and electronic popular, trade, and scholarly journals and magazines available at the STCC Library.

Search Everything!

Discovery is our library's version of Google. It searches all the STCC Library's research databases for scholarly articles covering all disciplines. Search any topic by keyword (not by asking a question). Example: gun control.

Using Discovery Search (how-to video)  |  Can't find what you're looking for? Try InterLibrary loan.