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Hunter Library
Research Guides
Western Carolina University

Education: Find Articles

Use this guide to get started with educational research.

Best Journal Article Search Tools

Use these search tools on this page to locate journal articles from our most popular databases, or for a complete list of article databases recommended for education visit the link below:

Find Journal Articles using our Most Popular Databases

Limit Your Results

For best results, follow these simple tips:

  • Use only the major terms for your topic. For example, if you want to research the relationship between high-stakes testing and student achievement, the keywords are high-stakes tests and student achievement
  • Put phrases (and only phrases) in quotes. For example: "high-stakes tests" and "student achievement"
  • Put the word and in between each of your keywords: "high-stakes tests" and "student achievement"
  • Use an *  to truncate your search:  comput* will retrieve computer, computing, computes, etc. . .

Experiment with different combinations of keywords. For example, "academic achievement" is another phrase for student achievement, and "No Child Left Behind" is a phrase that represents high-stakes testing, so another search to get at the same information might be: "academic achievement" and "No Child Left Behind".

After your search, you will find numerous ways to filter your results on the left side of the result screen.  Some of the most popular are to limit to full text or limit by date.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is an excellent tool to locate scholarly research in education.  It ranks the most frequently cited articles higher in your result list.  Often full text is available via open access resources or author copies.  Click on the Find@WNCLN-UNCA,WCU link to access library subscription resources.  

One very useful feature of Google Scholar is that you can see subsequent articles that cited the original article by clicking on the cited by link. Tracking citations forward is a great way to find more recent research on your topic. 

Build a Keyword Search

Use this Keyword Builder courtesy of North Carolina State Libraries to make your own search string to copy and paste into the Find It in Education! search box or another database.

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