Skip to Main Content
Link to CSU Home
Link to CSU Home
Students in the Library

Michael Schwartz Library

Students in the Connection Lounge
Michael Schwartz Library

ESE 400: Introduction to Special Education


To find academic or scholarly articles about evidence-based classroom strategies for students with disabilities, search in the Michael Schwartz Library's Research Databases, accessible from the Research Databases A-Z list here:

Start with some of the core databases for Education research, which include Education Research Complete and ERIC. Other useful databases are named Academic Search Complete, APA PsycINFO, and Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection.

To search from home or off-campus, you will need a Library PIN. If you don’t have a Library PIN yet, then you can create one on the My Account page here:

Before you start searching, select your research topic/question. Identify the main concepts in your topic or question. Brainstorm your keywords or search terms. Think of synonyms and related terms, as well as broader and narrower terms. You will search on different keywords and combinations of terms to locate relevant information. For example:

Special education, students with disabilities, deaf, deafness, hearing impaired, hearing impairment, hearing loss, hard of hearing, strategies, evidence-based strategies, behavior management strategies, classroom management strategies, instructional strategies, learning strategies, teaching strategies, inclusion, inclusive classroom, pre-K, early childhood education, preschool, kindergarten, elementary, first grade, second grade, third grade.

What are specific evidence-based strategies? For students with autism, some examples are positive reinforcement, behavior-specific praise, teacher praise, rewards, incentives, token economy, and tokens.

When you access one of the EBSCO research databases like Education Research Complete, the default setting is the Advanced Search. Enter your main keywords into the separate search boxes. Connect them with the Boolean operator AND. Use the Boolean operator OR within a search box for synonyms and related terms. Use the plus sign to open more boxes, if needed. For example:

(autism OR autistic OR ASD) (ADHD OR attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) (hearing impaired OR hearing impairment OR hard of hearing OR deaf OR deafness)
praise evidence-based strategies (inclusion OR inclusive)
(preschool OR kindergarten OR elementary) classroom (early childhood education OR pre-K OR preschool OR kindergarten)

Start your search leaving as is, Select a Field (optional). This way, the database will look for your search terms anywhere in the description of the item. If you are finding too many items, then narrow your results by searching in a specific field, like TI Title or AB Abstract. If you are not finding enough information, then expand your search to TX All Text to look for your search terms inside the full text of articles. Another option is to turn the checkmark ON for "Also search within the full text of the articles" under Search Modes and Expanders on the Advanced Search.


Under the Limit your results section of the database, turn the checkmark ON next to Peer ReviewedScholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals. Or, once you generate a list of items, use the limiters on the left-hand side to Refine your Results.

In the peer review process, an article is assessed by experts in the same subject area before it is accepted by a journal for publication. Research studies are published in peer-reviewed journals.

Make sure the icon for the item in your results list indicates Academic Journal. To determine if an article published in an academic journal is indeed a research study, read the Abstract (short summary of the article) and look for a Methods or Methodology section when you open the full text of the article.

You may also want to limit your results by Published Date to find the most current research. Also, pay attention to the location or geography where the study was conducted. Are you looking for articles specifically about the United States?

Many articles will be available full text inside the database, either in HTML or PDF format. You can read, print, email, or save the articles. Also use the Find It! button and/or Full Text Finder links inside the database to connect to the full text of articles. The full text may be a few links or clicks away.

You can get citing help from most databases. In the EBSCO databases, on the Detailed Record for each item, look on the right-hand side under Tools for the Cite help. You can get the APA citation for each article, but this citing help is only a starting point. The APA citations are usually not perfect! There often will be mistakes or elements missing from the citation. You must spot the errors and make corrections before submitting your work!