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ENG 7020 - Methods & Materials of Research in Rhetoric & Writing (Seitz): Home

Find articles in Composition and Rhetoric

Using ERIC

Considered by many in education to be the primary database for education research, ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) includes citations for articles and ERIC documents. ERIC documents include research syntheses, conference papers, technical reports, policy papers, and other education-related materials. Many of these are unpublished except as ERIC documents. Because ERIC indexes these documents along with journal articles, ERIC is considered a good source of practitioner materials. As you view your results, you'll see that records have accession numbers or ERIC numbers (e.g., ED505664). ERIC documents begin with ED and journal articles begin with EJ.

One reason that education researchers like ERIC so much is because it has great limiters. When you're in the EBSCOhost version, be sure to look at all the limit options (find the advanced search screen). From there, you can limit to Educational Level (e.g., Two Year Colleges), Intended Audience (e.g., Practitioner), or Publication Type (e.g., Guides Classroom Teacher). You can limit by date, language, or peer review as well.

Citation Searching in the Arts and Humanities Citation Index

Following a thread of citations allows you to see how one scholar influences another. Using the Arts and Humanities Citation Index (the Web of Science), determine who is responding to the work of Peter Elbow.

  1. Connect to the Arts and Humanities Citation Index. From the main page of the Arts and Humanities Citation Index, check the box for Social Science Citation Index to search both at the same time.
  2. Check boxes of the articles that look important and click "Add to Marked List." Click the "Find It!" button to search for full-text. Click "Marked List (#)" to email, save, or export records.
  3. The results page is listing the works of Peter Elbow that have been indexed in these databases. Titles of journals, books, conference proceedings, etc. are abbreviated. Is there inconsistency in the abbreviations? Are all the citations correct? Do one of the following:
    • Check the box next to the work with the highest number of Times Cited, and then click Finish Search. On the right, sort by Times Cited. You are now looking at the works that cite Elbow's most highly cited work.
    • Select all boxes, click Finish Search, and sort by Times Cited. You are now looking at the works that cite any of Elbow’s works.
  4. From the main screen, click "Search."
  5. Find your author by entering the last name in the search box and clicking "Move To." Determine which is/are your author, click "Add," and then click "OK."
  6. Next to the “Cited Author:” box, click the magnifying glass. This will take you to the cited author index. (The citation index is very specific about how it allows you to search for an author. It’s best to start with the index to be sure you’re looking for the right person.)
  7. Click "Cited Reference Search." (Don’t use browser navigation buttons from now on.)


Keep in mind that scholars don’t cite only scholars with whom they agree; they cite other important scholars as well. Read the articles to determine whose “camp” a scholar is in.


Citation Searching in Google Scholar

Using Google Scholar, determine who is responding to the work of Peter Elbow. (Remember, don’t pay for anything Google tries to sell you; chances are we can get it for you for free.)

  1. Connect to Google Scholar. Click the menu icon located in the upper left corner and select Advanced Search.
  2. A dialog box will pop up.
  3. Next to Author, enter the name the way it was used in the citation index, but with the first initial(s) first and in quotes (i.e., “P Elbow”) and click the magnifying glass icon.
  4. Examine the results and consider the following:
    • How are the records sorted?
    • Is the most cited work the same as the most cited work in the citation index? Why or why not?
  5. To identify the most frequently cited record, look at the "Cited by #" listed under each article.

Finding the full text of an article when you know the title

If you know the article title:

  1. Visit the University Libraries homepage
  2. Type the article title in the search box and click search or hit enter.
  3. Any articles with the exact title or a similar title will show in the results list. 
  4. Click the title of the article you need.
  5. If there isn't a PDF attached to the record, use the yellow Find It button to potentially locate the full-text.

Questions? Ask a librarian!

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Teacher Practitioner Resources

Databases and Search engines:

Teacher-oriented journals and sites:

Professional and Association Websites:


Blogs, Delicious, CiteULike, etc.

Teacher’s edition of a textbook