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ELED4323-Language Arts in the Elementary School

General Information for Students

Resources
Search Tips
Suggested Keywords
Evaluating Websites
Following APA style rules

Resources

If you are unfamiliar with the terminology you encounter while searching article databases (or while reading articles in journals) you may wish to refer to sources such as textbooks, dictionaries, and other reference resources in the field of study.

Books

Search the NSU Libraries' Online Catalog: http://library2.nsuok.edu/

Search for E-Books using NetLibrary: http://library.nsuok.edu/Refdesk/vrdbks.html

Journal and Magazine Article Databases

Academic Search Premier - This is a general database, which means it contains article citations and full text articles covering many academic subjects. It is one of the twenty-five databases produced by EbscoHost for which NSU has a subscription. It is probably our most widely used database and is sometimes referred to simply as "Ebsco."

ERIC - This is another database produced by EbscoHost. ERIC stands for the Educational Resource Information Center. It contains more than 2,200 digests along with references for additional information and citations and abstracts from over 1,000 educational and education-related journals. ERIC contains a thesaurus, which can be very helpful in figuring out which search terms to use when looking for information.

Professional Development Collection - Designed for professional educators, this database provides a highly specialized collection of more than 550 high quality education journals, including more than 350 peer-reviewed titles. This databasealso contains more than 200 educational reports.

Go to all EbscoHost databases

Education Full Text - Part of Wilson's Omnifile Full Text, Mega Edition, EFT provides comprehensive coverage of an international range of English-language periodicals, monographs and yearbooks. Coverage includes 79 journals (37 with full text) not covered by ERIC's Current Index to Journals in Education. Index coverage goes back to 1983. Full text articles from 1996 to the present. Contains a thesaurus.

Internet Sites

Sites for Teachers: http://www.sitesforteachers.com/

Language Arts (Government Resources): http://www.free.ed.gov/

Can Teach: http://www.canteach.ca/index.html

Top Sites for Educators: http://www.uvm.edu/~jmorris/topsites.html

Web English Teacher: http://www.webenglishteacher.com

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Search Tips

1. Be prepared with synonyms in case your original search produces no results. Use a thesaurus if the database is equipped with one.

2. Pay attention to search tips or help screens provided by each database. Even experienced researchers (like professors and librarians!) can have trouble when dealing with a new interface. Take the time to learn how to use the tool - it will help you to avoid frustration!

3.  Remember that most databases allow for Boolean Searching.  Use and to narrow, or to expand, not to exlude.  Truncation is also useful for bringing back all relevant results.  For example, type counsel* to bring back documents containing the words counsel, counseling, counselor...

4. Take advantage of the following sources of help:

- Tutorials

- Reference Assistance:
Broken Arrow - First and second floor service desk - open whenever the library is open
Tahlequah - On Call, staffed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday - Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday by reference librarians or other experienced library staff members.

- Ask a Librarian - NSU Libraries' Chat Reference Service (same hours apply)

Suggested keywords to use when searching for language arts materials

Use the following terms individually or in combination with one another:

language arts
English
writing and improv* (truncate using * to bring up all forms of the word)
reading
speaking
listening
spelling
handwrit* and practice (combine the terms using and)
literacy
rubrics
poetry or verse (use or to bring in all documents whether they use the word poetry or verse)
elementary
middle school
junior high
high school
secondary
students not college (use not to exclude articles regarding college students)

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Evaluating Websites

It's important to remember that publishing on the web is very easy - almost anyone can do it! The problem with that is knowing what's credible (worth your time) and what's not.

Ultimately the researcher must be the one to determine whether or not to use information found on a web site. The following information from the University of California at Berkeley provides some excellent guidelines for evaluating sites:

http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.htm

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Following APA style rules

The American Psychological Association originally created a publication manual to provide a common structure for all journal manuscripts in the area of the social sciences.

Many other disciplines (including psychology, the behavioral sciences, nursing, personnel administration and many areas within education) have adopted this as their professional writing standard as well.

In an academic environment, you will often be expected to conform to this standard when writing. At this point, you should be mostly concerned with creating an accurate reference list using proper format and providing citations within the text to give credit for an idea or concept to the source from which you got it.

Print:

Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). (2010). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

The library owns several copies of the style guide; however, only the 5th edition circulates (can be checked out). The NSU libraries have seven copies of the 6th edition in reference and two on reserve. ( BF76.7 .P83 2010)

www.apastyle.org

Using APA format (Purdue University) - this comprehensive guide summarizes the print version of the book. Click on Your Reference List to find examples of the proper format to use when listing sources you used.

APA style.org's Frequently Asked Questions

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Sarah Burkhead


Page maintained by: Sarah Burkhead
Last Updated: October 31, 2011