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ECE 201 History, Theory and Practice of Early Childhood Education: Home

ECE 201

This guide will help you throughout the research process on a critical issue in Early Childhood Education.  

Use this guide to start your search with the most relevant resources Elmhurst has to offer.

Also, look at the APA resources on the writing and citing tab.

I recommend that you start your research by gathering some background information on your topic.  Reference sources can help you define your terms, generate search terms, and provide you with more sources. 

Scholarly vs Popular: Know your article type

Most publications that come out with new issues on some timetable (librarians call them "periodicals") can be put into one of two, broad categories: Scholarly journals or Popular magazines. These publications have some big differences, and the kinds of information you get from each of them will be different. What are some of these differences?

Popular articles
Scholarly Articles
Are written for a general audience--not specialists
Are written for professionals or specialists in a field
Are written by journalists
Are written by specialists or professionals in a field
Are stories typically assigned to writers by an editor
Are written by scholars who are sharing their research with fellow scholars. These articles go through a process of peer-review
Are written in language aimed at non specialists--"anyone" can understand
May be written using highly specialized or technical language--the "jargon" of a field
Can be short, to the point, summaries of a story or idea
Are more lengthy, explore a topic in depth
Magazines are often filled with pictures, advertising for general products
Journals rarely have pictures (though there may be graphs of data) and only have ads for professional tools, if any at all
Never have a bibliography or list of references
Always have a bibliography or list of references

Mostly your teachers will make it clear whether they expect you to use scholarly sources, popular sources, or a combination. If you have a question about whether a source you are looking at is scholarly or popular, you can read this to learn how to distinguish scholarly journals from other periodicals.