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Education Research

Welcome to Your "Research Homepage"

This LibGuide will serve as your "Research Homepage" - it was created by a Librarian just for Graduate-level Education students! 

Here you will find a step-by-step guide to the research process and links to library resources that are likely to be useful for you. Which resources you use will depend on your topic, so if you aren't sure where to search or what to use, ask a Librarian! 

What we think research and writing are like:

A map with a straight line.

What research and writing are actually like:

A map with a confusing path

Preliminary Searching

Before you jump into using library resources and scholarly sources, it helps to learn more about your topic, brainstorm possibilities for narrowing it down, list keywords related to your topic, and identify any questions you have. This may seem like something you can skip because "I know how to do research - I'm a Graduate student", but each of these steps is important - working through them and writing everything down will help you throughout the process.

There are 6 steps to getting started with your research

  1. Understand your assignment
  2. Choose a topic
  3. Write a research question
  4. Generate keywords
  5. Find background information
  6. Begin searching for scholarly and topic-specific sources

For more information on the research process, go to the Starting Your Research guide. 

How do these general steps relate to your specific project? Understanding what you know and don't know, and having a clear idea about how to start finding information about what you don't know, is vital to helping you find, choose, and make sense of your sources. 

Let's work through an example: 

Topic: Information Literacy Instruction

Possible Initial Research Question(s): 

  • Is a discipline-based model of information literacy more effective than a traditional model of "general skills" instruction?
  • What are the applications of instructional technology in information literacy?

Keywords:

  • Information Literacy
  • Library
  • Research
  • Outcome
  • Framework
  • Standards
  • Discipline-based model
  • "Educationa Technology" / "Instructional technology" / "Classroom Technology"

Questions I have:

  • How do professors feel about working with librarians to provide information literacy instruction? Can we generalize? Does the answer depend on the discipline/field or is it individual?
  • How can information literacy be integrated into preexisting learning outcomes for different classes?
  • How are information literacy skills used differently within different disciplines?
  • Does introducing technology (videos, apps, polls, games, etc.) increase engagement or overwhelm students with "one more thing to learn how to use"?

Next steps?

Background info: I'll search reference databases to make sure I understand the terms I'm using.  Then I search general databases to see what types of research is out there already.

Scholarly and topic-specific sources: I'll search field-specific databases to find out what professionals in the field are discussing and researching about my topic and how they have addressed the questions I came up with.

When you reach this stage of the process - check out the Education Resources page on the left menu!