UMGC Library

Course Guide for BEHS 495: Advanced Seminar in Social Sciences: Researching Your Capstone Project

Research the ACA

Using Library Databases

To find scholarly articles on your population of interest, use library databases like the following:

Try searches like these, substituting keywords for your population of interest:

  • "elder care" AND policy
  • breastfeeding AND "health insurance"
  • "special needs" AND children 
  • HIV AND policy
  • "mental health" AND ("affordable care act" OR "health insurance")

Using Google

To find information on how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) effects your population of interest, try a simple Google search. Advocacy organizations and other Web sites will have information on how the ACA affects specific populations.

Here are some examples of how you can search Google, depending on your population of interest:

  • elder care "affordable care act"
  • breastfeeding "affordable care act"
  • special needs children "affordable care act"
  • HIV "affordable care act"

You can even try searches that limit your results to only government (.gov) Web sites, or organization (.org) Web sites, for example:

  • mental health "affordable care act" site:.gov
  • mental health "affordable care act" site:.org

Whatever type of Web site you find and use, evaluate it to make sure it is appropriate to use in a resesarch project.

What is an Empirical Research Article?

For your capstone project, you may want to find social science empirical research articles.

An empirical research article is written by researchers (social scientists, behavioral scientists, gerontologists, psychologists, etc) to desribe an experiment, survey, or other direct research the authors have done. An empirical research article will be published in a scholarly journal, and it will almost always be written in fairly technical language and contain a good deal of statistics, often presented in tables and charts. It will also have a long list of cited references.

Often, the structure of an empirical research article will look like this:

  • Introduction
  • Method
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • References

Library databses like SocINDEX with Full Text, APA PsycInfo, and others contain many empirical research articles.