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EDU 200 Assignment Playbook

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Betty Sue Jessup Library

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Assignment: Critical issues in American education

For this assignment, you will write a 4 to 5 page paper discussing what you consider to be a critical or compelling issue in American education.  You will need at least 3 sources, only one of which can be web-based ("web-based" refers to general webpages, not to academic or library sources). Wikipedia is not allowed.

Find books

Books make excellent sources for papers. To find books

  • Go to the library's home page
  • Under FIND BOOKS, click the down arrow and select subject
  • Type your topic. Example: No Child Left Behind
  • Click Search

QuickSearch example

If the library does not own a book you are interested in, you can obtain a copy by filling out the Interlibrary Loan form. Typically it takes 2 to 7 business days to receive a book from other libraries, but sometimes the wait is longer, so plan accordingly.

Find academic articles

For this assignment, we will look for articles using two resources:

Education Research Complete database

To search the Education Research Complete database, begin by entering your terms in the first search box.  Then click Search.


search box example


If you get too many results, you can refine them by using the filters on the left-hand side of the page.


search filters example

There are many more limiters -- experiment with them to see which ones are the most useful for your project.  Two useful limiters are "Full Text" (this filters out materials that are not completely available), and Scholarly (this filters out everything but the highest quality sources).

If an article you are interested in is not available, you can request it using this form.

ERIC database online

While the ERIC materials are available through EBSCO, most students find that searching ERIC directly on their website provides a friendlier search with better results.

  • Go to ERIC
  • In the search box, type your terms and then click Search

search box example

  • Notice that you can also tell ERIC to return peer reviewed only materials and/or full text available directly on ERIC.
  • ERIC also provides a good number of filters that let you refine your search. Simply select them from the left-hand side of the screen.

Citing your sources

  • The most appropriate citation style for education is APA. 
  • Use the APA playbook to cite your sources. The library also has printed APA handouts that you can use.
  • Learn to cite sources from scratch.
    • It will save you time in the long run
    • Any citation generators you use will insert errors that you won't even know are there because you don't know what a correct citation looks like
    • The librarians do not support citation generators and cannot help you with citations obtained this way
  • The librarians can help you understand the citation playbook, but they will expect you to try it on your own first and to format the citations yourself.  The librarians cannot format citations for you. 
  • To consult the librarians, come to the library or email

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