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Step-by-Step Guide & Research Rescue: Education

This guide will help you understand how to efficiently and effectively do basic research.

Step 1. Locate Education Background Information

This guide leads you through the research process for Education topics. For general tips on the research process, click on the Basic Research Strategy tab above.

Related Subject Guide - Education


For Specialized print encyclopedias, use the Social Sciences/Education Reference collection, Level 1:

  • Encyclopedia of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education (Soc Sci Ref & Hum Ref LC 3707 .E53 1997)
  • Encyclopedia of Education (Soc Sci Ref LB 15 .E47 2003) - available online through Gale Virtual Reference Library
  • Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities (Soc Sci Ref LC 4704.5 .T86 2006)
  • Encyclopedia of Special Education (Soc Sci Ref LC 4007 .E53 2007) - available online through EBSCO ebooks
  • Handbook of Research on the Education of Young Children (Soc Sci Ref LB 1119 .H25 2006)
  • International Encyclopedia of Education (Soc Sci Ref LB 15 .I569 1994)
  • The SAGE Handbook of Special Education (Soc Sci Ref LC 3965 .S24x 2007)
  • World Education Encyclopedia: A Survey of Educational Systems Worldwide (Soc Sci Ref LB 15 .W87 2001) - available online through Gale Virtual Reference Library

For Specialized online encyclopedias, use the following databases. For subject specific background resources, use the Education Subject Guide.

Step 2. Develop & Narrow Your Topic

After reading Background Resources, you should be able to fill out the following "From Topic to Research Focus" formula.  NOTE: This is NOT the same as your Thesis Statement.  Your Thesis Statement is developed after you read Research Materials about your issue/question, determine your stance, and decide how you will present your attitude/angle/argument. For examples of how to use the "From Topic to Research Focus" rubric, click on the Develop and Narrow Topic tab at the top of this page.

1)  I am researching ______________________________________ (topic)
2)  because I want to find out _______________________________  (issue/question)
3)  in order to ____________________________________________ (application)

Organize your Research Focus into concepts: identify terms, think of synonyms, and organize them using this chart.

(Concept 1) _______________ OR ______________ OR ______________ (Synonyms for Concept 1)

AND (Concept 2) ___________ OR ______________ OR ______________ (Synonyms for Concept 2)

AND (Concept 3) ___________ OR ______________ OR ______________ (Synonyms for Concept 3)

Step 3. Find Research Materials for Education topics

For Books use the Books & More search to find specific titles from the bibliographies you noted above. Use the Books & More - Advanced Search to find additional books on your issue question. Referring back to the concept chart above, enter your keyword search, one concept for each box.

For Articles use the Articles & More - Advanced Search selecting Collection: Education. Referring back to the concept chart above, enter your keyword search, one concept for each box. Click Go to begin the search. Click on the title of the article to read the abstract. Click the Full Text Available and Check for Full Text to view the entire article.

To retrieve additional articles, connect to the databases linked below, or select them from Databases A-Z in the Databases & Journals box on the Library Home Page. Depending on how you have narrowed your subject, other databases listed on the Education Subject Guide may also be appropriate.

Steps 4 & 5: Evaluating Research Materials & Writing Your Paper

For tips on Evaluating Research Materials & Writing Your Paper, click on the Basic Research Strategy tab above.