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SPE 507 — Action Research in the Special Education Classroom


Contact Information

Caroline Bordinaro


Search Concepts

Finding Journal Articles

APA Citation Style

Search Tips

Finding Books in the library

LIBRARY GUIDES (.doc format)

Search Concepts
  1. Take your research question and circle the "important words" (keywords).
  2. Think of at least three synonyms for each keyword.
  3. Use these words in various combinations to get a good result (between 10-45 results is optimal).

Finding Journal Articles

Online indexes must be accessed through the CSUDH library homepage (library.csudh.edu). Select Journal Articles & Electronic Resources; You may either browse by subject area or go to your favorite resource using the Alphabetical List.

NOTE: These are subscription online journal indexes, selected and provided specifically for CSUDH students. To access from home, please see our How to Log in to the Databases from Off-Campus guide for instructions.

  • ERIC:  Indexes education journal articles, newsletters, reports and other documents. Some full text available. Scroll down list to find database name.
  • Education Full Text*: Indexes and abstracts articles relating to education published in 1994 or later.
  • PsycINFO*: Indexes psychology journal articles, book chapters, books and dissertations.

These are databases are not specifically education-related, but they are very good for information on sociology, culture, humanities, trends and current news:

  • Academic Search Premier*: World's largest scholarly, multi-discipline, full text database designed specifically for academic institutions, with the most numerous collection of peer-reviewed full text journals, Academic Search Premier contains full text for nearly 3,200 scholarly publications.
  • ProQuest Databases*: Full text, multi-disciplinary collection journals, newspapers, magazines, reports and other periodicals.
  • Humanities Full Text*:  Bibliographic database that cites articles from Art, Classical Studies, Communications, Dance, Film, Gender Studies, History, Linguistics, Literary & Social Criticism Literature, Music, Performing Arts, Philosophy, Religion and Theology. Full-text coverage begins in January 1995.
  • JSTOR: Peer reviewed journal articles on a wide range of Humanities subjects.
  • Social Sciences Full Text*: Indexes and abstracts articles in Anthropology, Community Health & Medical Care, Criminal Justice, Economics, Environmental Studies, Ethics, Family Studies, Gender Studies, Geography, Gerontology, Law, Minority Studies, Planning & Public Administration, Political Science, Psychology, Public Welfare, Social Work, Sociology, Urban Studies

*To limit search to peer-reviewed journals only, look for check box next to Peer-Reviewed, Scholarly Journals, or Academic Journals on database search screen (may be in Advanced Search)

APA Citation Style

APA style is the citation and formatting style created and used by the American Psychological Association. This comprehensive guide from the librarians at CSULA will help you use the APA citation style. Click here for our tutorial on citing sources.

Click here for a cheat-sheet on APA citation style.

Search Tips
  • Combining keywords
    • 1. AND: deaf AND sign AND interpreter
      2. OR: autism OR Aspbergers
      3. NOT: paranoia NOT schizophrenia
  • Phrase searching"" ( "Burrhus Frederic Skinner", "Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale")
  • Advanced Search: Use this frequently to determine your search options. This will save you TIME and FRUSTRATION!
  • Remember, the more words you use to search or the more limits you place on a search, the fewer results you will get. (How can you get more results?)
  • Rules and advice
    • Find index descriptors attached to useful article citations- redo your search with these "Official Database Topic Terms"
    • Always use the E-Mail, Print and Save functions embedded within the database window. It is usually not a good idea to use the File-Print or File-Save As functions in the upper left hand corner of the browser.
    • All databases function essentially the same way and have similar features.
    • If you can't find anything: don't freak out and go to Google! Ask a reference librarian for help.

Not sure how to search? Use our How To Find Articles help page for assistance.

Finding Books in the library

Go to TOROFIND: the CSUDH Library Catalog and search on the title, author, subject or keyword. Look not only for that specific call number, but also check out the books in that section.

  • If you don't see the right item listed, or want more titles, try an on a few keywords (in separate boxes).
  • If you still don't find the right book, ask a reference librarian.

LIBRARY GUIDES (.doc format)
  1. Finding journal articles using Academic Search Premier (advanced search/retrieval methods, Interlibrary Loan)
  2. Accessing databases from off campus
  3. What is a Literature Review?
  4. Searching Google (advanced Internet search methods)
  5. OR click here to download ALL FOUR GUIDES with BONUS MATERIAL! (10pgs.)