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EDUC 634: Inquiry in Literacy Instruction (National Writing Project Summer Institute): Find Articles

Resources for students enagaged in the National Writing Project Summer Institute

Search Tools

ERIC is an acronym for the Educational Resources Information Center, which is a U.S. Department of Education clearinghouse of education-related publications and materials. 

ERIC materials are designated with either an EJ or ED number.

Education-related articles in journals are assigned an EJ number; for a list of the journals included in this database

  • click on the "Indexes" link along the top part of the search screen
  • highlight "journal title" from the drop-down menu
  • click Browse

Other ERIC publications are assigned an ED number.  These documents include:

  • conference papers and proceedings
  • technical and research reports
  • government documents
  • legal materials
  • bibliographies
  • teaching guides
  • lessons plans
  • dissertations
  • speeches
  • U.S. Congressional hearings
  • unpublished manuscripts
  • books  

See video tutorials for ERIC and Education Research Complete HERE.

Searching ERIC through Drew/Ebsco

Search In ERIC on digital storytelling AND (instruction or classroom)

ERIC- Basic search strategy

Library databases general use 'boolean logic,' 'keyword,' and 'controlled vocabulary' (subject heading) searches rather than Google-type 'natural language searching'

When searching in ERIC or any other library-type database, you want to separate your topic into concepts and connect them with boolean logic (and parentheses, if necessary).

  • When two concepts, and/or the keywords that express them, should BOTH appear in any relevant searches, you want to connect them with AND like this: digital storytelling AND instruction
    This narrows your search
  • When EITHER of two alternative concepts, or synonyms/related keywords would make your result relevant, connect them with OR, like this: classroom OR instruction
    This widens your search
  • As in math, different search boxes or parentheses allow you to group results:
    digital storytelling AND (instruction or classroom)

Other search tiips

  • You can 'truncate' a term with an asterisk * to find that term and all its suffixes: teach* gets teach, teaches, teaching, teacher, teachers, teachable, etc.
  • Phrases can be kept together in search by enclosing them with quotes: "adaptive learning"
  • Use "Apply equivalent words" and "apply related subjects" to widen your search.
  • Use limits (see next slide for details).

A slide showing the lower part of the ERIC advanced search screen, with education level, intended audience and language limits

Limiting in ERIC

ERIC has snazzy ways to limit your results:

In the limits drop-downs, you can use Ctrl-click  or Shift-click select more than one term.

  • Education level is the level of the students being taught/the education being provided. (note that Elementary Education and Primary Education are broadly similar, as are High Schools and Secondary Education: choose both, plus respective grade levels, for the best results)
  • Intended audience is the audience of reader to which the text is directed. (Teachers and Practitioners should be selected at the same time.)
  • You can also limit to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) publications to get academic standard journal research
  • If you limit to full text publications, you may miss some that are in Drew's other databases
  • You can limit by date, language, publication type, etc.
  • The What Works Clearinghouse rating is specific to research articles published after 2002.

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