Research

Research Databases

These databases can be accessed anywhere in your school or from home by asking your school librarian for the user name and password.

Database Trials

Below is the Database Trial schedule. For each month it includes a database for Elementary/Middle School and a database for High School. Prior to the trial period, Abigail will email everyone with the username and password info. If you would like to suggest other databases, extend a trial, or begin a subscription, please contact Abigail. The links below will redirect to the trial login during the trial period.

September – Maps101 / ProQuest

October – Cavendish Square / EBSCO

November – Scholastic ScienceFlix / Oxford English Dictionary

December – PebbleGo / PebbleGoNext / Facts on File

JanuaryFactCite / Gale / eBooks

February – N2Y / ABC-CLIO

MarchWorldBook / Britannica

There are many great products to explore in this month’s World Book trial. World Book’s “Student” encyclopedia has extensive articles in easy to decipher language for older elementary and middle school aged students. One of the very useful features in their platform is the “My Research” tool which allows students to save encyclopedia articles and media with their citations to each student’s research folders. Books and website links can be saved there as well and students can add personal notes to each saved item. The “Related Information” tab includes further magazine and encyclopedia articles, additional websites to explore, and in some cases, curriculum connections and assessment questions. Also make sure to take a look at the “Activity Corner” product for various school hands-on projects with curriculum correlations. The “Dramatic Learning” module is an invaluable resource to add flair to your classroom lessons with plays and skits related to teaching content for grade levels 1-12. Many plays have tie-in activities and guided inquiry lessons. “Early World of Learning” is World Book’s young learners database and it’s a great alternative to PebbleGo. The “Kids” product is a more graphically rich version of the encyclopedia for students in grades 3-5. Contact Abigail for login info.

Britannica also has three tiers of offerings- one for elementary, middle, and high school students. While the elementary and middle school products are an attractive pared down version of the high school product they have many of the expected features of a K-8 encyclopedia. These include extensive correlations to common core standards, Lexile measuring of articles, translation and citation tools, as well as read aloud options. For further features you’ll want to take a look at the many full-text primary sources linked to the main articles, the ability to load the article in 3 different reading levels, and the built in dictionary which allows students to click on any word in the article for a quick definition. Teachers should also take a look in the lesson plans section for great ideas on how to use the Britannica content. Contact Abigail for login info.

 
April – Pearson OLE / Granger’s Poetry

May – (database trial period for all new subscriptions for 17-18 school year)

How to Research

Learning how to research increases critical thinking, helps prepare for higher education and the workforce, and drastically improves the overall quality of your work.

 

Research Guides
CRLS Research Guide Basic Steps in the Research Process
ipl2 for Teens A+ Research & Writing: Step by Step
Kentucky Virtual Library How to Do Research
Duke University Libraries Research Guide

Evaluating Your Sources

Not everything we find in print and electronic format are appropriate sources of information. Three examples that illustrate this point are:

 

1.) Inappropriate Types of Sources
If you were writing a paper about Mount Kilimanjaro, you would not cite an article about pitcher R. A. Dickey’s recent expedition in Sports Illustrated.
2.) Obsolete Information
A book published in 1980 about laser surgery will not provide you with sufficiently useful data on this procedure the way it is implemented today.
3.) Misleading or Amateur Authors
Some people think they are experts when in reality they are not qualified to publish certain materials. Other people purposely publish misleading and/or false information in the name of a political or other type of motivation.

How do we avoid using these improper sources? Train yourself to question everything you read, view and hear. Try exploring any of these links to see why and how you should be critical:
Purdue University Online Writing Lab Evaluating Sources: Overview
University of California Berkeley Library Critical Evaluation of Resources
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center Evaluating Print Sources
Cornell University Library Critically Analyzing Information Sources
University of Georgia Online Library Learning Center Unit 9: Evaluating Sources

Citing Your Sources

Citing your sources or references is of the utmost importance- how else can you prove that the information you are using is true?

 

The two main styles of citation used in schools are MLA and APA format. Typically, every school district only uses one of these two styles. Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides a wealth of information about both APA and MLA formatting:

APA Formatting and Style Guide
MLA Formatting and Style Guide
MLA Citation Basics, 7th Edition (.pdf)

Still a little confused about where that comma goes or what needs to be capitalized? Enlist the aid of these free online citation generators:
CiteLighter

Points of View

Health Source

Green File

Academic Research

Kids Search

Science Reference

Explora Primary

Explora Secondary

Primary Magazines

Middle Magazines

Newspapers

Business Guides

History Reference

Novelist K-8

Novelist

Literary Reference

Teacher Reference

Reference Latina

World & I Kids

World & I School

These resources are provided by the State Library of New Jersey & to paid members of the BELS Consortium