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Library Instructional Session
Research Consultations by appointment
This guide provides information on how to:
• Search for research articles.
• Access scholarly journals for research in Special Education.
• Request articles and books via InterLibrary Loan (MyILLiad)
• Find scholarly books.
• Construct APA citations, including for electronic sources.
• Review writing and plagiarism resources.
For research questions not answered by this guide, please contact Lettycia
Terrones via IM chat or email, or another librarian on-line 24/7.
How can starting my research
by forming a research
question help me?
Writing out a research question can be
effective in targeting your research
scope and concepts. A good research
question will contain Who, What,
Where, When, How elements, as well
as seek to find relationships between
your research variables/concepts.
What factors contribute to the
persistence and academic
achievement of Latino graduate
Now you have at least three key terms
with which to begin your initial search.
Remember to use the Thesaurus to
identify subject headings and related
terms for each of your key terms to
better target your research.
How do I select the best
databases for research in
Top databases for Education Research
Sage Journals Online
Academic Search Premier
Dissertations & Theses
Some Journals in Special Education
Journal of Learning Disabilities
The Journal of Special Education
Journal of Positive Behavior
Gifted Child Quarterly
Learning Disability Quarterly
TEACHING Exceptional Children
Intervention in School and Clinic
What is the difference
between an empirical
article vs. a review article?
What does “peer-review”
Two short videos that define and
describe the “peer-review” process.
From Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
noun: a process by which a scholarly
work (such as a paper or a research
proposal) is checked by a group of
experts in the same field to make sure
it meets the necessary standards
before it is published or accepted
How do I cite in APA?
The Publication Manual of the American
Psychological Association, 6th ed.
(2010) is the authority used by
writers in the social sciences and
some natural sciences.
Unofficial: CSUF APA Citation Style (PDF)
provides a two-page overview of some of
the most common citation needs for both
the in-text parenthetical documentation
and the reference list
Official: APA Frequently Asked
Questions and APA Style Help provide a
few official examples and additional
support from the APA. For the most
comprehensive coverage of APA style,
including citation rules, please remember
to consult the print APA publication
manual. Copies are kept at the Reference
Desk for in-library use.
Also Available Online:
OWL (Online Writing Lab) at Purdue
University. Purdue University's OWL is an
excellent source to use for any citation
style, including APA.
Q: I was promoted
to pay for an article.
Do I have to pay?
A: No. You can
request articles that
are not immediately
available for free by
using My ILLiad
Simply, sign in using
your Titan username
and password to
register. Next, use
the request tools on
the left side column
to request electronic
How do I search for books
and e-books using the library
Locate books and ebooks from the Pollak
To access e-books, you will be prompted
to enter in your Titan Portal username
Use a keyword search when you’d like to
find books and e-books on a topic or
Combine keywords using the word
AND. For instance: special education
You can search by specific author, title, or
subject by using the drop-down menu.
The Pollak Library Catalog, allows you to
search for books and ebooks within
specific collections in our library. For
*Selecting Curriculum Materials &
Juvenile Only from the drop-down menu,
will limit your results to handbooks,
guides, and lesson plan materials found
in our library’s Curriculum Materials
Center, 4th floor.
What is an annotated
1) An annotated bibliography is list
of references sources (scholarly
articles, books, websites, reports,
etc.) on a topic or research area that
contains a summary and evaluation
for each listed document.
The “annotation” part pertains to
the write-up produced for each
source. OWL Purdue provides an
excellent online guide with samples
for writing annotated bibliographies:
2) Use the APA empirical research
article format as an evaluation tool.
Scholarly articles that present new
research will have the following
Knowing what each section contains
based on the structure will allowing
you to “jump” around the article to
find what you need. You may find
that you will not need to read an
entire 30 page article from start to
finish, but still be able to use parts
How do I approach writing
a literature review?
Highly recommended video tutorials on writing literature
The links below offer excellent
web resources for writing
Harvard Graduate School of
Education - The Literature
Review: A Research Journey
Literature Review Sample
Paper - Purdue Writing Lab
UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Guide
for Literature Reviews