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How do I Research?: An Example

A guide to conducting research for OCAD U coursework and beyond

Finding Specific Case Studies: An Example

Research Topic: Kensington Market (Toronto)

To review; we have first found a General Theory...


...from: “Urban Environments and Human Behavior” The Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology  for:
  • terminologies used in urban planning
  • keywords to use when searching for books or journal articles

Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology. Ed. Charles Donald Spielberger. Oxford: Elsevier, 2004. Credo Reference. Web.

Then we found a General Context...

...from books using:

  • key terms from the encyclopedia entry
  • recommended related articles 
  • the bibliography of books listed


Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Modern Library, 1961/2011.  Call Number: NA9030 J2

Now begin finding specific journal articles on Kensington Market using:

What happens if you do not find ANY articles specifically on your particular case study?

This actually may be an ideal situation for you! Now you can use material from the encyclopedia entry or from the books you sourced, such as:

  • key terms
  • key authors or theorist
  • recommended related articles, books and journal articles

Then use these as search terms in

  • Summon Search OR
  • a subject specific database such as Canadian Business and Current Affairs

Although these journal articles may NOT mention Kensington Market specifically, you can use the THEORIES used for other case-study examples to make you OWN interpretation of this very unique neighbourhood in Toronto!

But you will find that there are articles specifically in academic journals on Kensington Market, so why not just go directly to the peer-reviewed journals first? Conducting your own research on deductive theories first, allows you to find your own voice to compare and contrast with results from the academic journal article. If you found the article first, then you might not be able to contextualize the article in a fuller spectrum of deductive THEORIES and CONTEXTS.