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ITL600: Becoming a Teacher: Research Resources & Tips

Resources for Research

Finding Articles from Popular and Scholarly Sources:

Finding Books & E-books:

Finding Background Information:

Finding Reports:

Finding News Sources:

More Information:

Search Strategy

If you need journal articles or information that focuses on a specific aspect of a topic

  • Construct searches on the Advanced Screen
  • Use one box for each of the main topic areas you are looking for
  • Place synonyms and alternate terms in the same box
  • Use the AND connector to join concepts and the OR connector to group synonyms

Keep the core search in top boxes and add descriptive words (details about your topic): such as grade level, student population, intervention, outcome, or measure to narrow your focus


  • Big idea student development
  • Focus on major subtopic teacher role
  • Narrow focus (i.e.: behavior or performance) compassion or empathy

Ways to modify and focus a search

Adding a search box and entering key words that represent another facet of your research topic, such as population, setting, or time period will bring back fewer results, but they should be more closely related.

Population group boys, girls, males, females, children, adolescents, teens, teenagers, youth, teachers, students, etc.
Subject area science, mathematics, reading, etc.
Grade level preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school, etc.
Setting classroom, school, district, California, United States
Research terms methods, methodology,  research study, case study, correlation, single subject, etc.

You might also consider using terms that reflect possible outcomes, like:

  • student attitudes, student motivation, academic achievement
  • social justice, safe schools, anti-bullying programs, educational environment

Choosing search terms

  • Keywords are the words and phrases you use to find relevant research on your topic
  • Most research topics contain 2-3 core concepts that represent the main ideas
  • Focus on using nouns as search terms, the more specific the better
  • Avoid verbs, adjectives, acronyms, abbreviations, and jargon as search terms
  • Try to think of at least 1-2 alternate terms for each core concept

Tips for increasing and decreasing the quantity of search results

Broaden the search to get more results:

  • Switch to more general key words to broaden a search
  • Add more synonyms and alternate terms to each search box
  • You can also try taking away some search limiters such as publication date, resource type, availability, etc.

Make the search more specific to get fewer results:

  • Add a search box and enter key words or phrases that represent another concept related to your topic, like age, grade level, or subject of study
  • Enclose key phrases in quotation marks
  • Apply more search limiters