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 Many of these are unpublished except as ERIC documents.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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.