Research Log

Research Log

The Research Log gives you a place to track your research process by a) recording source publication information, b) summarizing main source ideas, and c) reflecting on the source ideas. Log entries will be the foundation of the upcoming synthesis assignment, which in turn builds the framework of your research essay.

Research Log Categories:

RESEARCH QUESTION: Write out your current research question after the heading on page one. (This needs to be done only once per document, not on each source entry.)


Write the correct MLA citation for the source. (Check with me if you plan to use a different citation style.) Citation instructions and examples are in the Hacker handbook. You can also check and navigate through the dropdown menus for documenting sources.


Write a brief OBJECTIVE summary of the source. Identify the author’s main claim in your first sentence. Then explain the other main points or reasons and the major supporting evidence. Be sure to explain what the author actually says about the topic, not just the general topic itself. (for example, NOT: “Jensen explains the importance of biodiversity,” but “Jensen claims that biodiversity ensures the health of entire ecosystems.”) Use quotation marks and page citations for language that is not your own. (See “Avoiding Plagiarism” and “Integrating Sources” in the Hacker handbook for more information.) The point of this section is for you to understand and explain, in your own words, what the sources are saying.

Remember–a summary does not include your ideas or evaluation, but rather explains the author’s ideas.


Discuss how the source changes, develops, or expands your thinking about your research question and your project in general. What did the source teach you? Did it raise more questions? How might this source fit into your paper? Are you starting to understand something better by having read this source? Also consider any particular strengths and weaknesses you see in the source.

this an example how to write it :
Student Name
Professor Notter
UNIV 200 10AM
14 October 2013
Research Log
Research Question: How can dentists make changes in their practice in order to help reduce the
development of dental fear among their patients?
Entry #4
Milgrom, Peter, Lloyd Mancl, Barbara King, and Philip Weinstein. “Origins of Childhood
Dental Fear.” Behaviour Research and Therapy 33.3 (1995): 313-319. ScienceDirect.
Web. 27 Sept. 2013.
The authors of this article sought to use their study to test the claim that acquisition of
dental fear is affected by both direct personal experiences and modeling from parents and
siblings. Two variables tested under the direct experiences category were the child’s “oral health
status, both actual and as perceived by the guardian, and previous treatment for a toothache or
tooth extraction” (315). Based on past evidence, it is believed that the quality of an individual’s
oral health has a direct relationship with the experience of “more aversive and emergent dental
treatment” (314). Therefore, children with poorer oral health tend to be more likely to undergo
unfavorable and potentially painful treatment at the dentist. These kinds of dental experiences
are most closely related to development of dental fear. This fact is backed up by the evidence
acquired through the study. The authors conclude that children who have or have had tooth
decay in the past are “two times more likely to be fearful of the dentist than children with
probable or no apparent” cavities or tooth decay (315). In aIDition, older children with “poor actual and perceived oral health” that have experienced treatment for oral pain or have had teeth
extracted are almost five times more likely to be fearful of the dentist (316).
In regards to the effect of parent and sibling modeling on a child’s development of dental
fear, aIDitional variables were also incorporated into the study. The mother’s level of dental
fear, her oral health, where she goes to the dentist, and the size of the family were all tested
variables. Based on the study evidence, only two of these were shown to have an effect on the
child’s dental fear: the guardian’s fear of the dentist and the quality of her oral health. The study
shows that the mother or guardian’s dental fear is directly related to that of their children. If the
mother or guardian of the child exhibits a significant amount of dental fear, that child will be two
times more likely to be afraid of the dentist as well when compared to a child whose guardian
only displays a relatively small amount of dental fear (316).
In aIDition to the effect of direct experiences and guardian modeling, this study also
reveals multiple other variables that can possibly contribute to the development of dental fear.
This includes the role played by psychiatric issues. This article acknowledges that around forty
percent of those who are fearful of the dentist also suffer from “psychiatric conditions primarily
of anxiety and mood disorders” (313). Similarly, many other “nondental fears” have been shown
to correlate with dental fear as well (316). Dental fear can even be the result of more “general
fears” such as needles, choking, drilling, and strangers (318). There is also evidence that age,
gender, education level of the guardian, and feelings of whether or not dental care is easily
accessible all play a role in the acquisition of dental fear. Lastly, it has been proven that dental
fear is greatly associated with how often an individual visits the dentist, especially during
childhood. The more regularly a person goes to the dentist the less likely they are to be fearful. It can thus be concluded that the utilization of “preventive dentistry” by avoiding going to the
dentist only when pain is being experienced, can greatly decrease the risk of dental fear (318).
Each aspect of this study can be taken and applied to changes that dentists can make in
their practice to help their patients feel more comfortable. Therefore, each will be very useful in
supporting the reasons for my claim. A few parts of the article can also be used as
counterclaims. For example, the facts that guardian modeling has an effect on the development
of dental fear shows that this fear does not only arise from events occurring at the dentist office.
Thus, some would say that it is not solely the responsibility of the dentist to prevent dental fear
since there is no direct way that they can prevent a guardian from influencing their child. In
aIDition, the introduction of the article states that high levels of dental fear and its resulting
avoidance of treatment are predominantly linked with “direct conditioning associated with
aversive treatment experienced in childhood” (313). This statement conflicts with one made in a
previous article. Therefore, it can be used to argue the amount of impact a dentist can really
have on his or her patients, especially during childhood.
Unfortunately, some of the methods of this study may also decrease the validity of the
evidence. First off, the study was conducted through a survey given to both the guardian and the
child. Some parts of this survey were based solely on memories of past dental experiences.
Because children’s memories in particular can sometimes be different from actual past
occurrences, their responses to the survey may not completely convey precise information. This
study can also be considered somewhat bias due to the fact that only mothers and female
guardians were chosen to participate in the study. It was assumed that women were the ones
who primarily deal with the health necessities of the children and not men.