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LTCY644: Writing Development and Instruction (Machado)

How to Curate High-Quality Literature for your Best Practice VoiceThread Session

Highlight Keywords for Searching

Locate the keywords in your research topic. It's ok to start with broad keywords. Your focus can narrow during your search for sources.

Example keywords: writing instruction and special needs; writing instruction and assessment


You could narrow your topic by grade level, age, specific types of writing, specific instructional methods, etc.

Example keywords: writing instruction and special needs and secondary education


Combine keywords into search strings by using boolean operators (AND, OR & NOT). The databases will help you do this.

Locate Appropriate Search Tools

From the IUP Libraries Databases page, access our two primary interfaces - EBSCOhost and ProQuest.

Use the QuickLinks at the top of the Databases page to search all databases within each interface at the same time.

Watch the IUP Libraries YouTube videos on Using EBSCO Databases and Using ProQuest Databases to learn more about these tools.

You can also search databases individually. The databases listed below are a few that are recommended for this assignment.

Use Limiters Within the Databases

Examples of limiters available in the databases to improve your search results:

  • "Apply related words" (looks for multiple versions of the same word - child and children)
  • "Also search within the full text of the articles" (broadens search)
  • "Apply equivalent subjects" (synonyms)
  • Publication dates
  • Source Type/Methodology
    • empirical study
    • meta analysis
    • systematic review
    • literature review

Reformulate Search String

Reformulate your searches as needed. Utilize the following to locate other search terms/articles:

  • Interface/database-suggested search terms (pop up as you type)
  • Subjects/Descriptors/Keywords (found in detailed record)
  • "Find Similar Results"
  • Reference Lists