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EDUC 3013 (Garcia): School and Society

Library Research Session

Questions for Today

1. How can you make connections with life experiences or really different interests and your reading groups?

2. How can you know the best place to look for information on a given topic?

3. How do you know when a topic is too broad/narrow? How can you determine what’s the right scope?

4. What words do you choose to search? What other tips will help?

5. How do you know you’ve found the “good” stuff-- credible, reliable, current, etc?

Recommended Sources

Linking Your Concepts

Many library databases have advanced search screens like this:

Advanced Searching with Boolean Operators

Boolean Searching Tips

Boolean Operator Example What it does
AND Halo AND language ideology Narrows your search
OR teens OR adolescents OR "young adults" Broadens your search
NOT "music education" NOT "music teachers" Weeds out unhelpful stuff
"" (Quotation marks) "multiple personality disorder" Searches an exact phrase, those words in that order
* (Asterisk)


(will include possibilities like communication, communicators, communicating, etc)

Includes all possible word ending variations


Checklist for Scholarly/Peer Reviewed Article

May also be known as Scholarly article, Peer reviewed article, or Refereed article, or Journal article

  •  What’s the title of the publication? __________________________________________________
    (Hint: different from the article title. Often Journal, Review, or Quarterly will be part of the journal title)
  •  Are the Authors experts (PhDs, MDs, etc)? ___________________
  •  Does the article follow a format like this?
    • Abstract / Summary
      Introduction or Literature Review
      Methods: Did they conduct an experiment? What did they do?
  •  Is there a References section or footnotes/endnotes?
  •  Uh oh: does the article heading say “Perspectives,” “Opinion,” “Editorial,” or indicate anything other than a research article?
  •  How long is the article? (Hint: Usually between 5-30 pages)
  •  Are there charts, graphs, and tables of numbers?
  •  Was the article reviewed by other scholars/experts to see if the research is of high quality? (Hint: Do a Google search. Look for categories like, “Instructions for Authors” or “About the Journal” on publisher’s webpage, which often mention "peer review" or "refereed" articles)
  • What type of study is this? Case study, research experiment, review article, etc?

If you answer "yes" to most of these questions, chances are good that you've found a scholarly article! Still not sure? Ask a CU Librarian!


Ask your Librarian!

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Linds Roberts
Now meeting via Zoom or in-person (Mon/Tues/Thurs).

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