Westminster student teaches in elementary classroom

Education Research Guide

  • Find Background Info
  • Find Books
  • Find Articles
  • Find Curriculum
  • Citing Sources

Find Background Info

Find Background Info

Background sources, such as specialized encyclopedias and dictionaries, are an essential piece of the research process. They can help you:

  • Gather information about your topic and understand the scope of the research.
  • Locate reliable sources and clarify keywords.
  • Pinpoint important authors, texts, ideas, and keywords about the research area—knowing what the primary phrases and concepts are will help you a lot as you are searching library databases and online sources.

Credo Reference

Credo Reference is a multi-publisher collection of high-quality reference titles covering everything from the arts to astronomy, law to literature, and science to Shakespeare. The collection currently contains over 162 titles taken from 36 different reference publishers and more titles are being added. Available titles also include a range of multimedia options including thousands of high-quality diagrams, photographs, maps, and audio files. Credo includes several topic pages for education—these topic pages are great places to get broad overviews and recommended readings on your topic.

Search Credo Reference

Education topic pages in Credo

Utah State Board of Education

For data about schools and education in the state of Utah, educator licensing in Utah, calendars, directories, school districts, accreditation, and more.

Utah State Board of Education

Find Books

Find Books

Print and e-books are valuable sources for academic research. They will help you gain an overview of your topic and often contain in-depth information about the scholarship or history of research on a subject. Some books are written by single authors, while others include essays or chapters by multiple scholars within a discipline. Don’t let the length of books intimidate you because you don’t need to read them from cover to cover. Look at the table of contents and index to find the sections that are relevant to your work.

Find Books Using GriffinSearch

You can use GriffinSearch to find print and e-books available through Giovale Library. To get started, search by keyword or type in the title of a book here:


WorldCat.org lets you search for books, articles, videos, and other material that are available in libraries worldwide. If you are doing in-depth research on a topic and are considering requesting resources through interlibrary loan, WorldCat can help you discover resources that might not be in the Giovale Library collection.

Search WorldCat

InterLibrary Loan (ILL)

InterLibrary Loan is a service where patrons of one library can borrow books and other materials and access journal articles that are owned by another library.

InterLibrary Loan

Utah Academic Library Consortium

Giovale Library participates in the Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC) and Westminster College students have reciprocal circulation privileges at UALC partner libraries. Each UALC library has different circulation policies, but all require current, valid, legal photo identification and proof of current enrollment at Westminster. Some libraries may also require other verification methods, so it is recommended that you contact the member library you are interested in for details.

Utah Academic Library Consortium

Popular Titles and Featured Texts

The New Teacher Book: Finding Purpose, Balance, and Hope During Your First Years in the Classroom

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Indigenous and Decolonizing Studies in Education: Mapping the Long View

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Teaching Race: How to Help Students Unmask and Challenge Racism

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New Ways of Classroom Assessment

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Find Articles

Find Articles

The Giovale Library provides access to a number of subject databases that you can use to find journal articles on topics within a specific discipline or field of study. The databases listed on this page are those that are most useful for finding research published in the field of education.


GriffinSearch is a good starting place if you are looking for books, journal articles, films, and other material available in the library. In addition to searching the Giovale Library catalog for physical materials, GriffinSearch finds e-books and articles from several of our databases.

Search GriffinSearch


The ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) database is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to provide extensive access to educational-related literature. ERIC provides unlimited access to more than 1.3 million bibliographic records of journal articles and other education-related materials. ERIC document coverage includes peer-reviewed articles, conferences, government documents, theses, dissertations, reports, audiovisual media, bibliographies, directories, books, and monographs. A public version of ERIC is also available. This version may have fewer items than the EBSCO version.

Search ERIC

Education Full Text

Education Full Text covers every age and sector of the educational community from preschool through college. It is a bibliographic database that cites every article of at least one column in length in more than 400 English-language periodicals and yearbooks published in the United States and elsewhere. It abstracts selected series and supplements and cites book reviews. Full text is included for many articles since 1996.

Search Education Full Text

Professional Development Collection

Designed for professional educators, this database provides a highly specialized collection of 520 high-quality education journals, including nearly 350 peer-reviewed titles. It also contains more than 200 educational reports.

Search Professional Development Collection

Find Curriculum Materials

The Giovale Library is a depository for the Utah State Office of Education. Publishers send us textbooks and instructional materials under consideration for state adoption. This is a great resource for class projects and student teaching. You can check out materials for the whole semester.

The Curriculum Collection is located in the basement of the Giovale Library. It can be searched in the catalog or GriffinSearch by selecting Curriculum Collection under location. To search the Curriculum Collection, search by keyword or type in the title of a book here:

Curriculum collection map in Giovale Library basement

Citing Sources

Citing Sources

Citing your sources helps you avoid plagiarism and shows that you’ve done research to become knowledgeable about your topic. Proper citations allow your readers to track down your sources and helps them understand how your research is connected to the work of others in your field. On this page, you will find guides and tools to help you format citations and you will learn about what constitutes plagiarism.

How to Cite Sources

With all of the many ways that you can plagiarize someone’s work, either accidentally or intentionally, how can you make sure that you’re citing your sources correctly, each and every time? One way is to become familiar with reputable sources that will help you either learn or confirm that how you are citing your source is correct.

PurdueOWL contains writing guides, grammatical rules, and citation help that will assist with many writing projects. The APA Citation Guide is a thorough resource on everything you need to know about APA formatting and style.

Zotero is the ideal tool to gather, analyze, and document all of your sources.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism means taking someone else’s work or ideas and try to pass them off as your own. Plagiarism can either be intentional or unintentional, and even the most careful writer could accidentally plagiarize without fully knowing it. For example, did you know that it is plagiarism even if you misattribute a quote to the wrong author? Even if you cited the source and took care to put their name in your biography, if the wrong person received credit for someone else’s work, it can still be considered plagiarism. Other lesser known forms of plagiarism, that are still plagiarism nonetheless, include:

  • Copy and pasting someone else’s work and turning it in as your own (without citing your source)
  • Using a quote from someone without giving them credit
  • Inadvertently giving the wrong person credit, thereby not giving credit to the correct source
  • Not putting a quotation in quotation marks
  • Changing a few words here and there, but keeping the main ideas of a sentence without giving credit to the original author

And that just includes written works. There are other ways that you might accidentally be plagiarizing images, videos, and music, too. Such as:

  • Copying pictures from Google or another website to use without saying where you found the image
  • Using copyrighted music or video clips without permission. This includes playing “cover songs” without permission, too.
  • Making a video that includes copyrighted music or movies playing in the background

Of course, all of these scenarios of potential plagiarism can be avoided by knowing how to properly cite your sources. Just say where you found the image or who wrote the book, and you’ll be fine.

Need help with your research?

Get in touch with:

Emily Swanson

Emily Swanson

Library Director
Liaison Librarian for Education

Librarians are happy to answer questions via email, phone, or in-person.

Contact Emily with a question or to schedule a research help appointment.

Chat with a Librarian

Use the chat box below to ask the library staff a question. If chat is unavailable or we don’t respond quickly, please use the email form on our Get Research Help page and a library staff member will contact you as soon as we are available.