EDUC 253A: Research in Writing

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  • Jill Woolums
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  • Office Location: Education Psychology Social Welfare Library, 2600 Tolman Hall
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About this Guide

This course guide was prepared by Jill Woolums for Professor Sarah Freedman's Research in Writing course, Fall 2010.

Articles in Education

Articles.  The UC Libraries provide several index/databases for searching literature in education.  The three primary education databases are ERIC, Ed Index, and ERA (Educational Research Abstracts), all linked from EDP Library's homepage.  Also, find several related social science and language/literacy databases, books, book reviews, and websites under the "Books Web & More" tab above.   Most of the related databases are searchable simultaneously with either ERIC or EdIndex.

Where to find ERIC.  Find ERIC on the EDP Library homepage under ERIC for the interface or MultiEdPsyc for the CSA Illumina platform.  The MultiEdPsyc link has been configured to search several related databases at once.  With one search engine, simultaneously search ERIC, PsycInfo, Communication Abstracts, Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, and MLA International Bibliography.  The MultiEdPsyc link is available ONLY on the EDP Library homepage.

What's in ERIC  ERIC, publicly sponsored and funded by the U.S. Department of Education, is the primary and leading index to journals and other literature published in education. 
     ERIC provides an index to citations for (1) journal articles and (2) ERIC Documents relating to the field of education. Journals and documents are indexed back to 1965.  The index points to over 780 journals, representing more than 1.3 million bibliographic records. Check the journal list for titles.

     ERIC Documents are 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.

How to find full-text of cited material:  The Library provides full-text access (online or in print) to most of the journals indexed in ERIC and the other databases searchable from the CSA platform.  Follow UC-eLinks to discover UC’s online or print full-text coverage.   
     ERIC has digitized the entire collection of ERIC Documents (formerly on microfiche).  ERIC has not received copyright permission to provide online full-text of a small portion of the documents, however. Most of this portion is available on microfiche at the EDP Library.  Microfiche may be checked out and taken to Doe Library for scanning onto a flash drive or printed at EDP.  For digitized ERIC Documents follow UC-eLinks (via CSA) or the pdf link on
     If an item is not available full-text from the UC Libraries, ask a librarian for assistance, or use the “Request” links in Melvyl or Oskicat to request an interlibrary loan.

Education Index. 
Where to find Ed Index.  Find Ed Index via the EDP Library homepage.  The WilsonWeb search engine can simultaneously search Education Index, along with several retrospective databases including Education Index Retrospective, Book Review Digest, Essay and General Literature, Humanities & Social Science, and Readers Guide.  

What's in Ed Index:  Education Index indexes journal articles and book reviews.  Ed Index provides citations from over 350 journals as far back as 1996.  It also points to citations for nearly 770 journals back to 1983.  Newly added is the full-text of The Chronicle of Higher Education back to January 2001. Click on “Journal Directory” after opening the Ed Index search engine to find a full list of journal titles and their coverage.  Some of the titles overlap the coverage in ERIC, but several are only indexed by Ed Index.  This is why it is important to run the same search in both ERIC and Ed Index. 

How to find full-text of cited material: The Ed Index search engine points to citations, including abstracts.  The Library provides full-text access, either online or in print (via UC-eLinks), to a large number of journal articles from the present back to 1929.  IMPORTANT NOTE:  When using the Ed Index search engine, do not check the “full-text” box.  Why?  Because you will miss many citations and full-text articles which the Library buys and to which we have online access from other content providers. 
     Once a citation is identified in Ed Index, follow UC-eLinks to discover the full-text. If we buy the full-text from Wilson, there will be a direct link from the initial results page.  If links to full-text (online or in print) do not readily appear, ask a librarian, or use the “Request” links in Melvyl or Oskicat to request an interlibrary loan.

Educational Research Abstracts. 
Where to find ERA.  Find ERA on the EDP Library homepage.  After doing searches in ERIC and EdIndex, run another search in ERA to pick up additional citations. 

What's in ERA:  The focus of ERA is current international research in education. ERA covers multiple topics including: child development, literacy, multicultural education, sociology of education, and training and general education.
    ERA indexes over 860 journal titles, and provides over 50,000 article abstracts. Citations date back to 1995. ERA includes journals from Britian, Canada, Australia, United States and Europe, some of which are not indexed in either ERIC or Ed Index/Retro.

How to find full-text of cited material.   Most of the articles to which ERA points are available full-text via the ERA platform.  ERA provides full-text access to nearly 350 journal titles published by Routledge and its affiliates.  The Library purchases access to full-text articles, either online or in print, for many of the journals cited in ERA to which ERA does not provide online full-text.  Do a separate search for the journal in the Library’s catalogs to see if we have the title from another provider.  Also, ask a librarian for assistance.  


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This guide has been archived

Please note: this course guide was created during a previous semester, and is no longer being actively maintained. For a list of current course guides, please see

Books, Websites & More

Find more articles.
For literature searches in education and in language and literacy use these additional current and retrospective databases. 

Book Review Digest Plus. Multidisciplinary book reviews. (via WilsonWeb search engine).
Book Review Digest Retrospective. Multidisciplinary book reviews. (via WilsonWeb search engine).
Communication Abstracts. Communications studies literature.  (via CSA Illumina search engine).
Education Index Retrospective. Education literature.  (via WilsonWeb search engine).
Essay and General Literature. (via WilsonWeb search engine).
Humanities & Social Sciences Index Retrospective. (via WilsonWeb search engine).
International Bibliography of Social Sciences. (via CSA Illumiina search engine).
Language and Linguistics Behavior Abstracts (via CSA Illumiina search engine).
MLA International Bibliography. (via CSA Illumiina search engine).
PsycInfo. Literature in psychology.  (via CSA Illumiina search engine).
Psychology eBooks (via APA PsycNet search engine).
PsycCritiques. Book reviews in psychology. (via Ebsco search engine).
Readers' Guide Retrospective. Multidiscipinary popular literature. (via WilsonWeb search engine).
Academic Search Premier.  Multidisciplinary scholarly literature.
Google Scholar. Multidisciplinary scholarly literature.

Find Books
OskiCat (Use for books, journal titles, media and more at UC Berkeley.)
Melvyl (Use for books, journal titles, media and more within the UC Libraries.)
Legacy Melvyl. (An earlier version of Melvyl.  Use for books, journal titles, media and more within the UC Libraries.)
WorldCat (Use for books, journal titles, media and more at 100s of participating American libraries.)



Websites for Education, Language & Literacy.
NCTE. National Council of Teachers of English.
National Writing Project.
Read, Write, Think.

What Works Clearinghouse from IES, US Department of Education.
Center for Applied Linguistics
Literacy Project.
National Center for Family Literacy
National Institute for Literacy.
National Literacy Trust (UK).

ProLiteracy Worldwide.

Citation Help

Citation Management.
Three citation management tools widely used at UC Berkeley are RefWorks, Endnote, and Zotero.  Each organizes citations and produces quick and easy bibliographies in many citation styles, including APA 6th.  Learn about other citation and writing tools on the EDP Library's Citation Management webpage.

RefWorks is free for UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff. From many of UC’s databases, importing citations is seamless and easy.  Create correctly cited bibliographies, footnotes, and in-text citations.  New users can sign up at RefWorks.  Find tutorials and tips for using RefWorks on the EDP Library webpage.

Zotero is free software for collecting, organizing, using and formatting citations.  Sign up and view this tool at

EndNote is software that must be purchased.  It’s available from UC Berkeley’s Software Central.  Find tutorals and tips for using EndNote via the Library webpage.

APA Style
Use the APA Publication Manual 6th edition in the EDP Library.  See the APA Style tab above for more information.

Widely cited journals and articles.
ISI Web of Knowledge - Social science citation index provides a "Cited Reference Search" feature which can be searched by cited author, work or year.  The ISI database provides "cited by" information on its search results page.  ISI's Journal Citation Reports will find a current list of most highly cited journals.   It should be noted, however, that ISI is evaluating a highly selective group of journal titles.  For example, only 130 education titles, 36 special education titles, and 49 educational psychology titles, a relatively small selection given the large number of journals published in education.  See the journal list at ISI WOS for specific titles. 

Google Scholar also provides on their initial search results screen a “cited by” link with the total number of citations.   Similarly, the CSA Illumina interface provides on their search results page, "cited by" links for more recent psychology articles.

ART Citation Linker

Have a citation? Go directly to the article!  Use Citation Linker.

Get immediate access to journal articles, books and other publications (or request them when they are not available) by entering a title and other citation information.

When a publication is available online: The UC-eLinks window will provide a link to the publisher's web site that should contain the full text of the publication if UC (systemwide or your home campus) subscribes to the electronic version of the publication.

When a publication is not available online: The UC-eLinks window will offer other options such as the ability to check campus library holdings in the Melvyl Catalog (and where you can sometimes find that items ARE available online), or to Request the item via Interlibrary Loan (ILL) if UC (systemwide or your home campus) does not subscribe to the electronic version of the publication.

APA Style

APA Style
APA Style is the most commonly used citation style in the social sciences.  It is the standard for both education and psychology.  The APA Publication Manual is published by the American Psychological Association.  The 6th edition is the most recent version and can be found at the EDP Library, either in the reference collection or on reserve.  It’s on one day reserve (BF 76.7 P83 2010).  No online edition has yet been published.  If you use citation management software, such as RefWorks or EndNote, it’s best to double-check formatting in the Manual, since citation software is not always entirely accurate. 

The Manual is the complete guide to protocols for formatting books, articles, and research papers.  Specifically, it provides examples for in-text citations, endnotes, footnotes, and bibliographies.  Methods for citing both print publications and electronic resources are included. 

For example, the basic format for citing a book is:  Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.

For citing a journal article: Author, A., Author, B., & Author, C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.

For citing a footnote:  1 See Clarke (1998), especially chapters four and five, for an insightful analysis of this extraordinary species.

For an overview of citing with APA Style, see APA's online FAQ.  Many examples of citations to various sources are provided.

See also the following helpful writing and citation guides and online tutorials.

APA Documentation. University of Wisconsin, Madison.
APA Exposed. Harvard's APA style online tutorial.
Guide to Citation Manuals. University of Iowa, School of Journalism.
OWL. Purdue University's Online Writing Lab.

Search Tips

Search engines vary in their ability and approach to handling search terms.  Although most are based in Boolean logic (i.e., use functions such as "and", "or", "not"),  some allow more search terms to be searched at once, some are more granular to permit greater depth in research, and some search not only keywords, but all or selected fields of bibliographic records.  This is a quick guide to the use of the three core education databases available at UCB.

CSA Illumina.  This is the search engine linked to ERIC, PsycInfo, Communications Abstracts, Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, and MLA International Bibliography.  This is one of the most powerful search engines for scholarly literature.  Take advantage of both rows and columns to include synonyms, related terms, additional terms, and to search specific fields.   For example, a subject search for empirical studies on writing instruction might be:

Row One: KW (Keyword) = writing instruction
Row Two: ME (Method) = study or empirical
Row Three: TM (Tests & Measurements) = test or index or questionnaire

WilsonWeb.  This is the search engine linked to Education Index, Education Index Retrospective, Book Review Digest, Essay and General Literature, Humanities & Social Science, and Readers Guide.  WilsonWeb provides only a column of search terms linked with “and”, “or”, or “not”.  Do not check the box labeled “fulltext” as you will miss most of the material available online at UC and find only the content we buy from Wilson.  UC buys content from hundreds of other vendors. WilsonWeb points to this content which is seamlessly linked and findable via the UC-eLinks yellow bultton. 

A sample subject search for empirical studies on writing instruction might be:

Row One: KW (Keyword) = “writing instruction”
Row Two: KW (Keyword )= “empirical study”

WilsonWeb is not as granular as CSA Illumina, in that it does not permit searching by fields such as Methodology or Tests & Measurements.  Also, it is important to place phrases in quotation marks.

ERA (Educational Research Abstracts Online) is on the Informaworld platform.  Because it is a smaller, more focused database, it is most effective when broader, more general terms are searched.  Use the advanced search screen to deselect additional databases not related to education.  

To do a subject search for empirical studies on writing instruction, follow this example:

KW (Keyword) = writing instruction

This search produces a very manageable set of less than 100 results.

EndNote X4.  Click EndNote Exercises for Sue Koskinen's class exercises for EndNote X4.



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