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GSHU 199.01 Discovering the Secret of Inspirational Teaching - Dr. Stella Erbes: Getting Started

This guide will help you get started researching topics in education for your first year seminar.

Locating Journal Articles

These two databases provide access to education literature:

How to Read a Journal Article

Educational Research

Tips on locating empirical research

To find articles that report on empirical research, some keywords you might want to use:

study, results, discussion, data, variables, limitations, implications, survey, respondents, population, conclusion

Such terms should be searched as keywords rather than subject terms because they reflect the kind of language used in an article describing empirical research, but they are not the topic or subject of the study.

What Works Clearinghouse

The goal of the WWC is to be a resource for informed education decision making. To reach this goal, the WWC identifies studies that provide credible and reliable evidence of the effectiveness of a given practice, program, or policy (referred to as “interventions”), and disseminates summary information and free reports on the WWC website. With over 700 publications available and more than10,500 reviewed studies in the online searchable database, the WWC aims to inform researchers, educators, and policymakers as they work toward improving education for students.

e-Pamphlet on research

Provides a brief introduction to understanding and using scientifically based research.  This brochure explains that the emphasis on scientifically based research supports the consistent use of instructional methods that have been proven effective.

Sage Research Methods

Online Reference Works

Rand Reports

The Rand Corporation conducts research on education topics such as Teacher Effectiveness and publishes reports, including Promising Evidence on Personalized Learning


If you conduct research involving human subjects, you will need to have your research proposal reviewed and approved by the Seaver College Institutional Review Board.  

Subject Guide

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Elizabeth Parang
Pepperdine University Libraries
24255 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90263

Looking for Research Ideas?

You can find ideas by looking at articles in current magazines, such as Phi Delta Kappan, or reading blogs focused on education topics, such as MindShift. Review the questions in the PKD/Gallup Poll of the public's attitudes towards the public schools.

Find Synonyms

  • If you find little or no information on your topic, you may need to find alternate terms.  Use the Thesaurus in the database or consult a standard thesaurus.
  • Finding too little information might indicate that you need to broaden your topic.
    For example, look for information on students, rather than college students.
    Link synonymous search terms with or: discipline or punishment or negative reinforcement