Chapter 4: Community Health and Public Health Research

Vocabulary List

(Merriam-Webster, 2023)


This week, you will be introduced to professional scientific research and learn how to present your findings using scientific writing.

Conducting Research

Purpose: Prepare to write scientific research papers.

This section will help you learn how to conduct research effectively by using online resources to find scholarly peer-reviewed journals. Peer-reviewed articles are reviewed by other experts in the field prior to being published to ensure that their information is accurate. 

Understanding and Finding Quality Resources

Before beginning research, it is important to understand what makes a high-quality research resource. 

In academic and public health settings, resources need to be credible and reliable. Research resources need to be based on something more than an opinion. 

Credibility means you can believe what is being presented. Credible resources backup their information with data that is reliable. 

Helpful credible sources:
Peer-reviewed research sites:

What is the Writing Process?

Successful researchers use organized steps to accomplish their work. 


(North Hennepin Community College, n.d.-a)

Step 1: Identify and develop your topic

Step 2 : Do a preliminary search for information

Look up your keywords. If you find too much information, you may need to narrow your topic; if you find too little, you may need to broaden your topic.

Step 3: Locate materials

Begin locating material on your topic. See sources listed above for places you can look for information.

Step 4: Evaluate your sources

Make sure your sources are credible, accurate, reasonable, and supported.

(North Hennepin Community College, n.d.-b)

Step 5: Make notes

Note the information that will be useful in your paper. Be sure to document all the sources you consult. The author, date, title, publisher, and URL will all be needed later when creating a reference list.

Step 6: Draft your paper

Organize your information and make a rough draft. You can revise the draft as many times as needed to create a final product to turn in to your instructor.

Step 7: Cite your sources properly

Give credit where credit is due; cite your sources. This will also allow those who are reading your work to find where you got the information. Use the APA Style for citations.

Step 8: Proofread

Read through the text aloud and check for any errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Make sure the message that you want to convey is clear.

Online Research Tips

When searching through databases in your online research, you can use boolean operators (the words AND, OR, & NOT), quotation marks(“”), and asterisks (*) to find the specific information you need.

Scientific Writing Styles

Academic Style

Tips to Improve your Writing

(5 Tips to Improve Your Writing, n.d.)

  1. Do not use contractions.
    Example: Don’t, can’t, hasn’t = Do not, cannot, has not.

  2. Avoid there is and there are to make sentences clearer.
    Example: There are many projects that the UN supports. The UN supports many projects.

  3. Avoid really, very, a lot, and so.
    Example: The work was really hard. The work was difficult.

  4. Active voice.
    Example: The war was won by France. France won the war.

  5. Use strong verbs.
    Example: He made an objection. He objected.


Citation Managers video What are Citation Managers?

Citation managers are programs that organize citations and references. While not required in scientific writing, they become a very valuable tool once you start using them. The above video shows how citation managers work. You are not required to use citation managers for this course; however, knowing how to use citation managers may be an effective tool in your future classes.

APA Format

In-Text Citations and References

Rules of In-Text Citations
What is an in-text citation?

When writing research papers, it is important to find credible references and cite those references both in your paper (in-text) and on the reference page. The way we show this information is called a publication convention, and it is used to help readers know where to find someone else's resources. The important information is always in the same place, so everyone knows where to find it. 

Optional Resource:

For more information see In-text citations ( from the APA's website.
How to use in-text citations

Paraphrasing and using proper citations are skills that take practice. Following the six steps below will help you improve these skills rapidly. 

Six Steps to Proper Citations:

  1. Read the work you want to cite. 

  2. Identify an idea you want to put in your paper. 

  3. Write a sentence about that idea. Quotes should be used sparingly or not at all. 

  4. Write a reference list entry for the work. 

  5. Add the corresponding in-text citation to the sentence. 

  6. Repeat as needed for more works and ideas.


(American Psychological Association, 2020)

Complete the following checklist for each sentence in your paper that relies on another 

source. Remember to cite all ideas, findings, results, or other information that is not your 

own and is not common knowledge. It may be helpful to highlight or annotate your paper 

to remind yourself of what information comes from another source and what is your 


Why use in-text citations? 

An in-text citation points the reader to your reference list, often called a reference citation. 

Rules of the Reference Page

A reference page lists all of the citations you used in your paper. These references contain more detailed information about the sources you cited, such as the title and publisher. This information is necessary so a reader can find or retrieve the complete article, book, or document from which the citations are found.

The following resources and the sample show how to create a reference page in an APA document.

Basic Principles of Reference List Entries 

(American Psychological Association, 2019b, 2019a)

A reference list entry generally has four elements: the author, date, title, and source. Each element answers a question:

Optional Resource:

See Reference Examples at APA Style Common Reference Examples Guide, APA Style 7th Edition.

Remember to use both in-text citations and a reference page at the end of your paper. Follow the sources above to cite your sources correctly in this week's application and Term Paper assignments.

W04 Job Skills: APA Formatting


Purpose: APA formatting is the writing style used in Public Health communications. You will need to use APA formatting for your work in this course and for future work, as well as in other college courses. We have been discussing this in earlier weeks, but the information below is a great review! 

Step 1: Understanding APA Style

APA Style

In BYU-Idaho’s public health program, you will be expected to write your papers using the American Psychology Association (APA) formatting style. 

APA Style is a set of guidelines used in academic writing in public health. These guidelines are called publication conventions. This style is required for your papers in this course and throughout your academic work in public health. 

Step 2: APA Formatting Rules for Public Health Classes

Use the APA format in your application assignments. 

Your papers in this course should include the following:

Download and save the Basic APA Template. 05_document_APA_Basic_Template.docx (

You will find it helpful to use this as you write your papers throughout this course. 

Optional Additional Resources:

For a more detailed look at the parts of an APA paper please reference the Annotated APA Template. 05_document_APA_Annotated_Template.pdf ( 

"What is APA Style? What is APA Style? - YouTube

“How to format your paper in APA style in 2021."

 “APA Essay Format (7th ed.) | Essay Writing | The Nature of Writing” APA Essay Format (7th ed.) | Essay Writing | The Nature of Writing - YouTube

The above video discusses the following skills (with times when each topic is covered in the video):

Inserting page numbers (0:27)

Changing font and size (0:53)

Double-spacing text (1:30)

Removing space between paragraphs (1:47)

Setting up title page (2:02)

Adding page breaks (4:53)

Setting up the paper (5:15)

Aligning and indenting paragraphs (5:26)

Headings (not required for this course) (5:53)

Setting up the References page (6:30)

Applying hanging indentations (6:46)

Inserting running headers (not required for student papers) (8:01)

NOTE: This video does not address how to set up margins. APA requires papers to have 1" margins.  Watch this tutorial on changing margins (Change margins - Microsoft Support) in Microsoft Word if you are not sure how to adjust your margins.

In-Text Citations Example 

Text with in-text citations. In blue are citations with one or two authors (World Bank Group, 2023; PIDS, 2023; UNICEF, 2023). In yellow are citations with three or more authors (Manrique et al., 2022; Garg et al, 2016)

IN-TEXT CITATIONS (ONE OR TWO AUTHORS): In-text citations should include the author's last name and the year of publication in parentheses. Notice that the period for the previous sentence goes AFTER the citation. There is no period before the in-text citation. 

IN-TEXT CITATIONS (THREE OR MORE AUTHORS): If the citation has three or more authors, you use the first author's last name, et al., and then the year of publication. et al. means "and others."


5 tips to improve your writing. (n.d.).

American Psychological Association. (2020). In-Text Citation Checklist, APA Style 7th Edition.

American Psychological Association. (2019a, September). Basic Principles of Reference List Entries. American Psychological Association.

American Psychological Association. (2019b, September). Elements of Reference List Entries. American Psychological Association.

Merriam-Webster. (2023). Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Merriam-Webster.

North Hennepin Community College. (n.d.-a). Basic Steps in the Research Process. North Hennepin Community College.

North Hennepin Community College. (n.d.-b). CARS Checklist. North Hennepin Community College.

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