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ECED 1115: Foundations of Early Childhood Education

This assignment guide is for the Essay and Presentation Assignment for ECED 1115.

How to search for reference sources, books, ebooks, videos, and academic journal articles

Reference Sources

When you are beginning your research, you may not understand all of the elements of your topic. There are several great resources that can help you find quick information that is still reputable, meaning you can still cite it in your paper (unlike some online resources like Wikipedia).

Quick Topic Search Research Starter

A great way to find some quick background info on a person, country, or topic is to search within the Quick Topic Search on the Library homepage.
For many searches for well-known figures, events, and topics, the first result will be a "Research Starter." These research starters are generated from reputable encyclopedias, which you can confidently cite in your paper.

Specialized Encyclopedias

The Library has numerous encyclopedias on educational topics that can get you started with your research. 

Finding In-Depth Resources (Books, Journal Articles, Videos)

To find books and media on your topic, do a keyword search for your topic in the Quick Topic Search on the Library homepage. Use the filters on the side of the page to limit to books, e-books, videos, etc.

Once you find a good resource, take a look at the "subjects" on the item record to find other similar books or videos.

Not finding what you are looking for? Try these searching tips:

1. Use main concepts as search words

Your search words should be only the words that express the main concepts in your research topic. Words that don't convey main concepts should not be used as search terms. They can cause many useful things to be left out of your search results.

Here are some types of words to avoid:

  • question words like how, what, why
  • words like a, an, the, in, from, about
  • evaluative words like best, worst, positive, negative, advantage, beneficial, harmful

2. Try alternate search words

Different words can be used to represent the same main concept. Be prepared to think of synonyms or related terms. They can help you

  • adjust your search if you don't get good results at first
  • find more or better results
    Example: pollution OR degradation 

3. Save time by using * to search for variations on a word

Example: educat* = education, educator, educate, educated, etc.