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

eBooks Rosen Collection the eBooks in this collection are on a variety of topics and for varying age levels – from drones for middle schoolers to the war in Afghanistan for high school aged students. These books are all multi-user books which can be accessed by an entire class simultaneously. We are considering these for purchase for the whole consortium. To access them, please contact Abigail for the login info. (trial active through 2/28)

 
February N2Y / ABC-CLIO

The N2Y products are geared toward teachers and students in Special Education. They provide three products, all of which are priced per classroom use. The Unique Learning System provides a framework for operating a Special Education classroom and includes curriculum planning, student tracking, extensive progress reports, and a large library of downloadable books developed for students at every level. News 2 You is their current events collection, which is updated weekly with new reports. As you can see in the sample, articles are offered at four skill levels and work off a easy to follow word/symbol combination structure. Articles are accompanied by additional learning activities in the areas of Fine Motor, Writing, Vocabulary Acquisition, Word Study Skills, Cooking, Geography, Math, and Science, to reinforce the newspaper article topic. To create one’s own learning materials and activities similar to those in the current events collection, SymbolStix is a database of thousands of searchable symbols which can be added to templates and activities, and they are somewhat customizable (eg. assorted skin tones). Contact Abigail for login info.

There is *a lot* to explore with ABC -CLIO. While it may take some time to navigate for first-timers, the easiest way to browse is by clicking the small blue “See All X” in the top right corner of each database home page. Some useful things to note are that their articles can all be easily uploaded to students’ Google drives by clicking the ‘cloud upload’ button, that they are translatable into 10 languages, and that articles can be read aloud. In each database, you will see on the left sidebar a section titled “Analyze,” which offers different perspectives on controversial questions which do a particularly good job at leading students to a deeper understanding of the source material. Clioview is neat tool available in some databases to pull comparative statistics together – for example students can investigate the difference in number of public libraries and the number of television stations in 3 (or more) different states. Most databases will supply, charts, illustrations, and primary source material, to enrich a topic. On the database homepage, experts on the ABC-CLIO advisory board chime in with their commentary on assorted topics, which bring a unique historical perspective to the fact-based articles. Also look for the many video research guides on topics like “writing a compelling introduction,” “evaluating primary sources,” and “avoiding plagiarism” among many others. Contact Abigail for login info.

March – WorldBook / Britannica

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