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CDV 330 — School-Age Years

Sociology 321

Contact Information

Caroline Bordinaro
cbordinaro@csudh.edu
(310)-243-2084
LIB SOUTH 2037J

Navigation

Concepts and Questions for Beginning Research

Glossary

Finding Journal Articles at CSUDH

Search Tips and Suggestions

Plagiarism

APA Citation Style

Scholarly Internet Research

General Research Tips

Library Guides


Concepts and Questions for Beginning Research
  • Where to Start?
      • What's your research question?
      • What information do you need to find?
  • Who cares about the same information? (e.g.: researchers, historians, government, etc.)
      • What kind of information do they need?
      • Where would they get it?
  • What resource are you currently using? Why is it important to know?
      • Is there a better tool for the job?
      • Are you using it in the most efficient/effective way?
  • Types of information available
      • Books
      • Articles from journals, magazines and newspapers
      • Websites
      • Newsletters
      • Reports


Glossary
  • DATABASE: An organized collection of electronic information, such as photographs, addresses, or journal articles.
  • ONLINE JOURNAL INDEX: A database that contains magazine, newspaper and journal articles, e.g: Academic Search Premier. AKA Subscription Database.
  • SCHOLARLY JOURNAL: Also called academic or refereed journal. Articles usually reviewed by experts in the field before publication, published for a research audience, narrow focus, e.g.; Molecular Endocrinology
  • MAGAZINE: Publication of general interest: popular interest and broad subjects (e.g: Psychology Today)
  • SUBJECT HEADINGS : Also called descriptors. Official terms used to classify items in a database.
  • THESAURUS: List and finding aid for official controlled vocabulary terms. Also called Topic Index or Subject List.
  • ABSTRACT: a brief summary of the main content of an article.
  • FULL TEXT: the complete article. Click on the FindItCSUDH button to see if the Full Text is available.
  • CITATION: The basic information you need to find the full text of an article. It includes the title of the article, the author, the name of the publication, the date, the volume and issue number and the page numbers.


Finding Journal Articles at CSUDH

These indexes must be accessed through the library home page at library.csudh.edu. Under Articles, E-books, Online Scholarly 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 - the Educational Resource Information Center is a national  information system supported by the U.S. Department of Education; provides citations and abstracts from over 1000 educational and education-related journals as well as miscellaneous education-related documents.

Education Full Text - a bibliographic database that indexes and abstracts articles from English-language periodicals and yearbooks published in the U.S. and elsewhere. English-language books relating to education published in 1995 or later are also indexed.

Project Muse - offers nearly 200 quality journal titles from over 30 scholarly publishers; covers history, cultural studies, education, gender studies, and many other academic areas.

PsycINFO - contains over one million citations and summaries of journal articles, book chapters, books, dissertations and technical reports, all in the field of psychology; covers journals from 1887 to present; includes international material from more than 1,700 periodicals in over 35 languages; also includes information about psychological aspects of related disciplines such as education, linguistics, medicine, psychiatry, nursing, anthropology and more!

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

  • Academic Search Premier*
  • ProQuest Databases*
  • Humanities Full Text*: Scroll down list to find database name.
  • JSTOR: Peer reviewed journal articles on a wide range of Humanities subjects.
  • Social Sciences Full Text*: Scroll down list to find database name.
*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)

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



Search Tips and Suggestions

Creating an effective online search:

  1. Take your research question and circle the "action words"
  2. Think of at least three synonyms for each action word
  3. Use these words in various combination to get a good result (between 15-40 results is optimal)
  • Combining keywords
    • AND: broadcast AND media AND regulations
    • OR: television OR radio OR newspaper
    • NOT: New York NOT city
  • Phrase searching"" ( "Neil deGrasse Tyson", "Federal Communications Commission")
  • 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?)
  • Always use the Print and Save functions embedded within the screen. 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.
  • Use the online HELP screens - they really are helpful!

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.

How to Find an Article On Your Topic: Click here for more tips, tricks and advice



Plagiarism

What is plagiarism? - Plagiarism is "The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft." (OED)

But I didn't know! - Ignorance of the law is unfortunately no excuse. You can commit plagiarism without meaning to, and it's just as serious a problem if you do.

How can I avoid it? - You can avoid plagiarism by always citing your sources. Whenever you put a quotation or borrow information heavily from a source, be sure you include a citation in the proper APA style. This will let your professor know you aren't trying to pass the idea off as your own. Taking detailed notes on where you get your information helps a lot with this, since it prevents you from forgetting which is your own work and which is borrowed from others.



APA Citation Style

APA style is the citation and formatting style created and used by the American Psychological Association. Not all citation styles are the same, so be sure to ask your professors which they want you to use. Other styles include MLA , ASA and Turabian.

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.



Scholarly Internet Research

Remember, not all web sites are created equally. Some sites can be valid sources of information, but others are filled with opinion represented as fact. While there isn't a 100% effective way to figure out what kind of site you're looking at, here are some guidelines to follow when using the Internet for research:

  • Check Credibility - Is it easy to figure out who's behind the information? Does whomever it is know what they're talking about? Do they have qualifications in the field or some other reason to be trust-worthy in it?
  • Check Accuracy - Are the sources cited well? Is the information up-to-date? Are there any broad, sweeping generalisations that are impossible to verify?
  • Check Reasonableness - What is the page's point-of-view? Is it a corporate page trying to sell you a product? Is it a government or educational site where the main purpose is to educate people?
  • Check Support - Is it possible to double-check the information in another location?

Useful Scholarly Websites:

These are indexes to quality web sites that have been reviewed by librarians. The sites have been checked for accuracy, expertise and stabilty and will generally conform to the standards of academic research. However, please be judicious in the use of websites in general, because anybody can put anything on the web.

  • Infomine (infomine.ucr.edu): A project from the Univeristy of California and other universities, it is a searchable index of websites specifically appropriate for university research. Click on SocSci & Humanities to search their specialized index.
  • Internet Public Library 2 (IPL2): Index of websites reviewed by librarians, geared toward the general public. Choose a topic from the index or use Advanced Search to search for keywords.
  • Evaluating Information on the Web: This is a very good checklist from the Pasadena City College Library for judging the quality of not only information on the Internet, but any information you may want to use for an assignment.


General Research Tips

Use multiple search terms - Remember, not every database or article uses exactly the same words to describe the same thing. Make sure you try several synonyms for the term you're trying to find. Most databases have a link titled "thesaurus" or "subject terms" which you can use to find out what words to search for.

Search in multiple places - The more places you look for information, the more information you're likely to find. Don't just search in one database and assume it's all you'll be able to find! Take a look at the list of Useful Databases earlier on in this page for ideas about where to start your search.

Ask for help - Don't be afraid to ask for help! Research can be an exhausting process, and sometimes a fresh perspective will make your task much easier. You can stop by the reference desk in the library and ask any of the reference librarians for help with your research. You can also submit an online help request which a librarian will answer within a day or two.

Don't leave it until the last minute - The earlier you start, the better your paper will be. Starting early gives you plenty of time to read and absorb the information so that you'll be properly informed when writing your paper.



Library Guides
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