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Doing Research in Education?--Where to Start!: The Very Beginning

This is a beginner's guide for doing research in education. It has information about resources for the field of education for new researchers; whether they be a graduate or undergraduate student and taking classes on campus, or in an off-campus cohort.

Feeling lost?

Feeling lost and don't know where to start your research?  Help is right here. 

  About OSF and Keffer Libraries

Library Hours

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O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library
651-962-5494 (Circulation)
651-962-5001 (Reference)
651-962-5400 (Hours)
2115 Summit Ave, St. Paul, MN 55105
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Keffer Library Photo 

Charles J. Keffer Library
651-962-4642 (Circulation)
651-962-4664 (Reference)
651-962-4640 (Hours)
MOH 206, 1000 LaSalle Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Directions & Parking

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This guide is designed to give you a selection of resources if you are just beginning to do research in the field of education.  It covers general educational theory and practice, elementary and secondary education, curriculum and instruction, and guidance for documenting the resources you use. You may wish to visit other guides in the 'education' group if your topic is more specialized (ESL or special education for example).

Use the tabs above to explore what is in this guide.

  • Getting started--where you are now.
  • Search strategy and tips--help for defining your question, and planning a search strategy for library databases
  • Finding books--search for print or electronic books, or media
  • Reference sources--recommended encyclopedias and research handbooks; these are good for a summary of research on a topic
  • Finding articles--start here if you are looking for journal articles
  • In the news--start here if you need newspaper articles or media segments
  • Statistics--if you need a statistic to enhance your paper, you will find good sources here
  • Multimedia--need a video for your project?--start here
  • Websites--use these to supplement your library research
  • Citing sources--help for completing the bibliography for your paper/project.

Finally, and most importantly, do not be shy about asking for help.  My contact information is at the right. I also do appointments for people who need more in-depth assistance or tutoring.  You can also call the reference desk at Keffer or O'Shaughnessey Frey libraries.  All the librarians can help you get started, or answer questions at any stage of the process.

Library Information

You will find that library resources for education are housed in different locations at St. Thomas. Keffer Library has a research collection (mostly published after 1990, and includes both reference and circulating items), a curriculum collection (sample textbooks and resources for the classroom), and the Hubbs Children's Literature Collection (fiction for preK-12, nonfiction mostly preK-8 with some high school material). O'Shaughnessey Frey Library has research materials that are a bit older in age, but may be valuable if you need historical background.

Many, if not most, of the journal articles you find in your research will have full-text available online.  For the most part, education journals that we have only in paper are at Keffer Library. If Keffer is your 'home' library (i.e. you are taking classes from a program based in Minneapolis), you will need to visit the library and find/copy those articles.  If you are in an off-campus cohort (and outside the metro area), you can request articles from those journals via interlibrary loan.

More Guides

Is your topic more specific than what this guide covers? If so, maybe one of these guides will help.

Contact me for assistance

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Trent Brager
OSF Library 116
(651) 962-5013