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LSLS 7057: Literacy Research - Course Guide

This guide supports the course LSLS 7057, a course that explores genres of literacy research writing and introduces students to the major frameworks for current literacy research.

Search Word Help: Education

Search Word Help

The search words you use to search article databases like Education Research Complete or ERIC will yield the best results if the words mirror database terms used to describe the articles or are in the text of the articles.


Key Elements of Successful Searching:

· Synonyms: use more than one word to describe your topic: for example: phonemics OR phonics

· Truncation: use * to “truncate” words to find as many forms as possible for a word: for example: phonolog* will yield phonological OR phonology

· Logical operators OR and AND: for example: phonolog* AND early childhood will yield articles that deal with both the topics of phonology/phonological and early childhood (narrows your search); phonolog* OR phonics will yield articles on either phonology/phonological OR phonics topics (broadens your search)

· Phrase searching: use N4 to find terms 4 words apart: for example, literacy N4 educat* yields articles where the words literacy and educating/education/educator/educational/educate... appear within four words of each other


Clarify Your Concepts by Using a Table:

If you are researching literacy education in regard to phonological awareness or phonics in early literacy, you may want to try this set of search terms:

Concept: Literacy

Concept: Phonics

Concept: Early Literacy

literacy education


early childhood

literacy programs




early literacy

Limit to Full Text, Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals, and to English Language only articles

Remember!: review your search results and use words from the “subjects,” titles or abstracts to make your search strategy more effective!

Here is a screen shot of how the search would appear in Education Research Complete.  Note that "OR" is capitalized:


Literacy Literature Search Results

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