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Education - SPE 582 (2024


Meet your Subject Librarian

Wei Ma

I work with all students, faculty, and staff of College of Education.

Call: (310) 243-2085
My Office: LIB South, Librarian Faculty Offices 2037-G

Meet with me online via Zoom!


Outline of the Library Presentation: 

It is highly recommended that you view all the videos below if you are a first time learner to access and research for primary research articles.  However, if you have some experience on the area, you can selectively view the sections/videos below.

Section 1: Prepare for Your Research:

Section 2: Search Education Articles & Hands-on:

Search the education article databases (direct link: Top Education article databases URL):

Section 3: How to read a scholarly article:

To help you save time & better understand the article:

Section 4: Literature Review:

How to do Literature Review:

A literature review video by UCLA:

Summary of the step-by-step guide: 

Step 1Choose a topic. Define your research question.

Your literature review should be guided by a central research question.  Remember, it is not a collection of loosely related studies in a field, but instead represents background and research developments related to a specific research question, interpreted, and analyzed by you in a synthesized way.


  • Use the "Topic Analysis" Worksheet (PDF) to help you make sure your research question is not too broad or too narrow and is manageable.
  • Use the worksheet to write down terms that are related to your question. These will be useful for searches later.

Step 2. Decide on the scope of your review.

How many studies do you need to look at? How comprehensive should it be? How many years should it cover? 


This may depend on your assignment.  How many sources (articles) does the assignment require?

Step 3Select the databases you will use to conduct your searches.

Search the Education databases .

Step 4. Conduct your searches for articles/books. Keep track of your searches!

  • Review the abstracts of research studies carefully. This will save you time.
  • Copy the citations or save the PermaLink of the selected articles.

Step 5. Review the literature.

Some questions to help you analyze the research:

  • What was the research question of the study you are reviewing? What were the authors trying to discover?
  • What were the research methodologies used in the article? Analyze its literature review, the samples and variables used, the results, and the conclusions. Does the research seem to be complete? Could it have been conducted more soundly? What further questions does it raise?
  • If there are conflicting studies, why do you think that is?
  • Was the research funded by a source that could influence the findings?
  • How are the authors viewed in the field? Has this study been cited? if so, how has it been analyzed?


  • Again, review the abstracts carefully.  
  • Keep careful notes so that you may track your thought processes during the research process.

(Reference: Literature Review: Conducting & Writing,