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Education: Getting Started

Research Steps

Before starting your research, take a few moments to think about your assignment.

  • What key words or phrases define your topic?
  • Can you list some synonyms?
  • What types of materials are you looking for?
  • Are you looking for the latest information or can you use sources published within the last ten years?
Spending a few minutes thinking about your topic will save you lots of time when you begin your research.

Creating a Search Strategy

Click here to see a short video demonstrating the steps to create an effective search strategy

Types of Sources

In the field of Education:

Primary Sources: include original research studies or original work generally published in scholarly, peer reviewed journals and books authored by a researcher or educational theorist. Literature reviews are NOT primary sources.

Secondary Sources: include literature reviews and books or other sources that summarize and "repackage" another's work.

Tertiary Sources: include encyclopedias and other reference sources that summarize, condense, and define other's work, theories, or ideas.

What Sources Should I Use?

The reference shelf is a great place to start research and gather background information. Materials include:

  • specialized encyclopedias
  • handbooks
  • dictionaries

Click the "Reference Shelf" tab for more information

Articles can provide the most recent information on a topic, and can include:

  • original research
  • current information about trends
  • overviews of best practices

Click the "Find Articles" tab for more information

Books:

  • summarize trends and best practices
  • provide lessons and activities
  • describe teaching methods

Click the "Find Books" tab for more information

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