North Hall Library


ED 5500 - Methods and Materials of Research

What does a research article look like?

Selecting & Connecting Search Terms

  • Break your topic into keywords
  • Do your keywords match the ones the database or catalog is using?  Try to think of other ways to express the same concept, for example attention deficit disorder, attention deficit disorders, hyperactive children, attention deficit hyperactivity disoder, ADHD, attention deficit disordered children, etc.  Try looking at the subject headings or descriptors.  If there is a thesaurus, use it to help you identify subject terms for that database (ERIC and Education Reserach Complete each have a thesarus).  Be aware that different databases use different terminology. 
  • Connect your keywords in one of these ways:   
    • Exact phrase - ""         Example:  "Learning disabilities"
    • And - All the words      Example:  Teenagers and pregnancy
    • Or - Any of the words   Example:  Teenagers or adolescents
    • Not                               Example:  Teenagers not college students

What if Mansfield doesn't have an item I need?

Find Journal Articles

  • We have lots of databases for different subjects.

Google Scholar Setup

Google Scholar allows you to search for many different resources on the web, including books and articles.

Pro Tip: You can make Google Scholar link to the library content that is available free.


NOTE FOR VIDEO VIEWERS: The name of our linking has changed since I made the video.
The link is now "Mansfield University - Full Text - Full Text @ MU".


Accessing Articles: Some of the articles may be available online from the library, but you need to set up Google Scholar to know that you are associated with Mansfield University. Here's how:

  1. Go to Scholar Settings
  2. Under "Library Links" enter Mansfield University and click on search
  3. Place a check in front of Mansfield University.
  4. At the bottom of the page, click on "Save"
  5. Now, if the full text is available, there will be a link to the library.

Things not available online: If there is something you want that isn't available online, request it through ILLiad.

Find Books


  • While you should evaluate everything your read, it's especially important to evaluate web pages because they have not gone through the peer review process that scholarly journals go through or even the editorial review that books go through. Consider authorship (who wrote this & why & what are their credentials), publishing body (is this page connected to some group, if so what is the reputation of that group?) , point of view or bias, referral to other sources, verifiability, and currency.

Cite your Sources

Some of the databases will tell you how to cite the sources you have found, but they are not always correct.  Use one of these resources to make sure you get it right!

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
Ask at the Information Desk, 2nd Floor North, for the complete guide in print.

Other Sources

Encyclopedia of Special Education
REF LC 4007 .E53 2007

Handbook of Reading Research
LB 1050 .H278 1984

Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education
LC 1099.3 .H35 2004

Handbook of Research on . . .