Finding Sources: Search Strategies for Educ 300 Ed Reform

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If you know little about a topic, start with a tertiary source (such as Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia) for a quick background and suggested secondary sources, to dig deeper with further reading.

To decide where to look for the most appropriate sources, ask yourself:
What type of person or organization might have created sources about this topic? Where might these people have archived or published these sources?

a) Academic Databases

For a broad search of scholarly secondary and primary sources, start with:

For a narrow search, try databases selected for this course at Trinity Library:

b) Digital Libraries and Web Archives

  • Google Books – digital library of full-text books; some results appear as excerpts
  • Google Ngram – search frequency over time of words/phrases in Google Books
  • HathiTrust – digital library of full-text books, hosted by academic libraries
  • Internet Archive – public digital library, with WayBackMachine for past websites

c) Government Data and Reports

d) Journalism

e) Specialized data tools



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