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ENG 7410 - Seminar in Composition Pedagogy: Home

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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 Many of these are unpublished except as ERIC documents.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.

Find Background Information

Often, you'll discover the right level of focus as you begin your research. Encyclopedias and dictionaries can be a great place to start this research. Use these resources to get topic ideas or for background information.

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 (AHCI), determine who is responding to the work of Vivian Zamel.

    1. Connect to the Arts and Humanities Citation Index. From the main page of the Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Next to the editions, use the drop-down menu and add Social Science Citation Index to search both at the same time.
    2. Click "Cited Reference Search." (Don’t use browser navigation buttons from now on.)
    3. Next to the “Cited Author” search box, select the green AZ. This will take you to the cited author index. (AHCI 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.)
    4. Find your author by entering the last name in the search box. Scroll until you reach your author's name. There may be more than one entry depending on if a middle initial is also used. Determine which is/are your author, click "Add to query" Your author is now in the "Cited Reference Search" box.
    5. From the main screen, click "Search."
    6. The results page is listing the works of Vivian Zamel that have been indexed in these databases. Titles of journals, books, conference proceedings, etc. are abbreviated.

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.

You can also use the citation index to target a single article, for example, J. Truscott, "The case against grammar correction in L2 writing classes," Language Learning, 46(2), 327-369, 1996.  Use the title of the article on the Documents search page to find References used in the paper and cites by other authors.


Boolean Operators

Use Boolean Operators as a way to narrow or broaden your search:

AND: use to combine different concepts or keywords; each result will contain all search terms

Example: race AND libraries

OR: use to connect similar concepts or keywords; each result will contain at least one of the search terms

Example: medicine OR health

NOT: use to exclude words or concepts; tells the database to ignore concepts implied by your search

Example: technology NOT database

Parentheses ( ): place around related terms to search for more than one group of keywords

Example: (teaching OR education) AND race

 Asterisk *: use at the end of a keyword to search words that start with the same letters

Example: education AND librar*

The University Libraries short "How-To" videos on navigating the Library's resources:

Books, media, government documents, manuscript collections, etc.: catalog searches

If you are not finding what you need in the Wright State catalog, try the OhioLINK catalog or WorldCat.  

WorldCat contains the books from most of the college/university libraries in the U.S. plus some from Canada and Europe.  You may be able to request books you find in WorldCat via Interlibrary Loan.

Evaluating Journals

Questions? Ask a librarian!

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