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EDUC 8220: Intro to Research & Policy (Wilson-Donato): Learn the Landscape

This guide accompanies the graduate level introduction to research and policy course in the School of Education

Learn the Landscape

These materials are great for getting up to speed quickly on a topic, policy issue, or court case. They are sometimes called "secondary" or "tertiary" sources --a step or two removed from empirical data gathering, these sources summarize, synthesis, and analyze.

  • Review or synthesis articles provide a summary of research published on a topic. Meta-analyses go a step further in providing statistical comparison of empirical evidence on a given topic. Prof. Wilson says, "These are usually quite long and comprehensive, but can give you a great overview of the field, and ideas for organizing topics around analytic questions."
  • Education policy journals are more narrowly focused than broader education journals and can provide detailed history of a given issue
  • Law review articles provide detailed analysis of court cases and legal issues
  • Education bibliographies provide lists of relevant resources on a topic - (Linds calls these "the jackpot," especially for an unfamiliar topic)
  • Education handbooks can be highly specialized within education and also summarize an issue or research method, and suggest other sources


Specialized Handbooks & Encyclopedias

Useful Databases

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