SPED 4683-Aspects of Exceptional Individuals

General Information for Students

Resources 1- Books, catalogs and databases
Search Tips
Suggested Keywords(search terms)
Resources 2 - Internet Sites
Evaluating Websites
Journal Reflection Help
Following APA style rules

Resources Part 1

Reference Materials

Encyclopedia of Special Education: A Reference for the Education of the Handicapped and Other Exceptional Children and Adults
Call # Ref. LC4007 .E53 2000

Dictionary of Special Eduation and Rehabilitation Call # Ref. LC3957 .V47 1997

Students with Disabilities and Special Education Call # Ref. KF4210 .H36 1993

Special Education Law Call # Ref. KF4210 .G84 1993

Books (Catalogs for finding)

Search the NSU Libraries' Online Catalog:

Here are some of the subject headings used in the catalog: special education, mainstreaming in schools, inclusive education, children with disabilities, cerebral palsied children

Search for E-Books using NetLibrary:

If you need an item that NSU doesn't own, you can order it through our ILLiad system.

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.

PsycARTICLES - a definitive source of searchable full-text, peer-reviewed scholarly and scientific articles in psychology. The database contains more than 40,000 articles from 53 journals - 45 published by the American Psychological Association (APA) and 8 from allied organizations. It includes all journal articles, letters to the editor and errata from each journal. Coverage spans 1985 to present.

PsycINFO - PsycINFO, from the American Psychological Association (APA), contains more than 2 million citations and summaries of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, books, and dissertations, all in psychology and related disciplines, dating as far back as the 1800s. 97 percent of the covered material is peer-reviewed. Journal coverage, which spans 1887 to present, includes international material selected from nearly 2,000 periodicals in more than 25 languages. Contains a thesaurus.

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.

Back to top of page

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:

- CLIP tutorials

- Reference On Call at JVL is staffed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday - Thursday and 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Friday by reference librarians or other experienced library staff members

Back to top of page

Suggested Keywords to use when searching for information on special education

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

special education
social, physical, emotional, educational

education and disabilities (combine terms using and)
"adaptive behavior of disabled " (enclose phrases in quotation marks)
teach* and children and "special health problems" OR "learning problems " (truncate to search for all forms: teaching, teachers, etc) (use OR to get all possible
versions of the term)

mental disorders
"learning disabilities "
"classroom techniques"

elementary or primary
middle school
junior high
high school
teen* (truncate to get all forms: teen, teens, teenagers, teenaged, etc.)

Back to top of page

Resources Part 2

Internet Sites


Sites for Teachers:

Can Teach:

United States Department of Education:

The Internet Public Library:

Internet Sites relating to topics in special education

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities:

National Center on Secondary Education and Transition :

The ALLIANCE National Parent Technical Assistance Center (NPTAC) :

  Back to Top of Page

Evaluating Web sites

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:

Back to Top of Page

Steps to writing a strong journal article reflection

  1. Take notes and highlight important words in the article.
  2. Description--Include who, what, when, where, and why of the article.  What is the overall message of the writer?
  3. Analyze--Did the author support his/her point?  Were there biases in the article?  Were there omissions in the article? How is this article unique from other articles on the same subject?  How does it relate to your own experience?
  4. Plan--Give specific examples of activities or methods that could be used in the classroom.

    (This section was created by former NSU librarian Sarah Brick Archer)

    Back to top of page

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.


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 2001)


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's Frequently Asked Questions

Back to Top of Page

Sarah Burkhead

Page maintained by: Sarah Burkhead
Last Updated: October 28, 2011