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EDU 940: Research: Finding Resources for Education

Parts of a paper

You read a book different than a website, and you read a newpaper article differently than both of those. A scholarly article is no different in that is is different. Here's our patented (pending...errr.. not applied for) method for reading a scholarly article:

  1. Read the abstract if available. The abstract will clue you in to whether or not it's worth your time to read the rest of the article.
  2. Read the conclusion. This is where the author says what they wanted to say anyways.
  3. Read the introduction, this will give you a sense of what the problem was and why the author did the thing.
  4. Read the lit review. Not only will it give you a sense of what you're working towards, but it can reveal other sources that might be useful to you. To find these sources, check out the bibliography/works cited.
  5. Depending on what you'd like to get out of the article, read or skim the methods and results.

Scholarly articles are written by fancypantses for other fancypantses. They are written for people who already have an advanced knowledge of the topic being discussed. Reading through each section multiple times then reading through the whole paper once of twice afterwards will help you get a better sense of what this article is saying and what it means.

And don't forget to take notes!

Search WISE

WorldCat Discovery search box example

Online Databases and Journals

Here are some databses to get you started. If what you want isn't here, try WISE or ask a librarian.
Provides full text of articles from over 350 journals, in addition to indexing of more than 770 periodicals dating back to 1983. Subject coverage includes adult education, multicultural/ethnic education, teaching methods, special education and educational tests.
ERIC - Educational Resources Information Center
ERIC provides access to education research and information. Includes articles, reports, and manuals.
PsycINFO (psychology)
Journal articles, chapters, books, dissertations and reports on a wide array of psychology topics.
A digital journal library with wide coverage in the humanities and social sciences.

Understanding how databases think.

Databases and catalogs don't think like Google does. You'll have to translate how you think about your topic into "Database-ese" to get the most out of your search.

"Databases use something called boolean, which means that they really like keywords and the word AND"

"Databases AND boolean AND keywords AND "and"

If I want to find examples of gamification of information literacy in english classes, all I need to do is find my keywords and connect them:

"Information Literacy" AND Gam* and English

The quotes around "Information Literacy" means that it will be searched as a phrase and not as individual words.

The astirix after gam is a wildcard- that means I'll get results that use the word "game", "gamify", "gamification". I'll also get gamy and gambler, but that's unlikely.

NOT is another great joiner, if you want to exclude certain results. If I was only interested in looking at Information literacy in curriculums that were not history I would search

"Information Literacy" AND curriculum NOT history

But I might miss some important stuff that includes the word history, so it's usually better to be specific (AND Chemistry, AND sociology, etc).