Key Education Topics
To discover resources on the following top education topics, use the databases indicated.
Education Literature Intro
The UC Libraries provide several index/databases for searching literature in education. The primary education databases are ERIC (via ProQuest) and Education Full Text (via EBSCOhost). Click the tabs above to find specific search tips for doing research with each database. Also, find several related psychology, social science and language/literacy databases under the "More Databases" or "Psychology" tabs above. Several of the related databases, such as PsycInfo, are searchable simultaneously with ERIC on the ProQuest platform.
ERIC and Ed Index all search for scholarly journal articles in education. There is some overlap between them with respect to journal coverage; however, each indexes some journal titles not covered by the others.
In addition, ERIC indexes Documents (known as "ERIC Documents") from hundreds of organizations producing education-related material. Document types include books, research syntheses, conference papers, technical reports, policy papers, and school district documents. Organizations providing non-journal content to ERIC include research foundations, federal and state agencies, policy organizations, university affiliates, and commercial publishers.
Where to Find ERIC and Ed Index.
All the primary education databases - ERIC. Ed Index and PsycInfo are linked from the EDP Library's homepage.
How to Narrow Your Topic
"I'm writing a paper on World War II."
Often students start their research with a very general topic, even though they may realize the topic is too large to deal with in a 10-15 page paper. Faculty and librarians tell them, "You have to narrow this down." But how do you narrow a topic?
Thought experiments to try:
- Think about your topic from the disciplinary perspective. If you are in a sociology class, ask a sociological question about World War II, like "How did WWII affect women?" If it's a political science class, your question might be something like "How did WWII affect presidential elections in the US?"
- Think about subsets or aspects of your topic. Some good aspects are:
- by place, such as a country or region
- by time period, such as a century, decade or year
- by population, such as men, women, ethnic group, youth, children or elderly
You can combine these ideas, "What were the major impacts of WWII on women in France, in the decade after the war?"
Take a look at our brief tutorial on topic selection and narrowing. (Slides 5-9 of the tutorial deal with topic narrowing.)
Books Social Sciences
Books. Search the UC Libraries' catalogs to find both e-books and books in print at UCB. The Oskicat catalog searches the UC Berkeley collection. Melvyl searches the UC-wide collections. UC has purchased several e-book collections that can be searched individually. See UCB's e-book collections for links to e-books by publisher/vendor. Each has its own search engine. Most e-book collections are multi-disciplinary. Use UC's excellent Interlibrary Loan service for anything you can't find.