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EDUC 2710: Social and Political Context of American Education (Fall 2015): Overview

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Mann Library supports the instruction, research, and extension programs of Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Human Ecology.

No matter where you are in the research process, we encourage you to ask for information consulting services. Email us your question or request a consultation. Reference librarians are here to assist.

Getting Started with Research

This guide will help you:

  • Create an effective research strategy
  • Find books and background information on your topic.
  • Find articles (scholarly, peer-reviewed and popular)
  • Find statistics, standards and government policy information
  • Find useful web reources
  • Evaluate the information you find
  • Manage and cite your information properly and easily


For general information about education and curriculum resources, see the Mann Library website.

Getting Started with Your Research

You need to find quality information on an educational policy issue or change. Where do you start?


Though you can use Google or Google Scholar, you'll probably find that separating the wheat from the chaff takes a lot of time. Web searches can be useful for finding governement and association information and the kinds of white papers and reports that are not published in the journal literature, but they do not comprehensively cover the published journal literature.

Wikipedia can give you a start on a broad overview of a topic but, since it's edited by anyone, the information can be, shall we say, less then reliable. Always check the references at the end and the Talk tab at the top for an idea about the controversies surrounding the topic (and how far along the article is in coming to a resolution on verifiability and a neutral point of view).

When you're first exploring a topic, articles in published encycopedias and books on your topic (see Finding Books), and policy reports and digests written by services like ERIC (see Finding Articles), CRS (Congressional Research Reports-see Finding Statistics and Standards), educational associations (see Useful Web Resources) and the like can give you a good overview.


Subject Guide

Camille Andrews
170 Mann Library