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EDU Graduate Research

This course site will provide you with research resources additional to the Library's Education research guides. They are specific to this EDU 595 section.

Interlibrary Loan

NU Library will obtain any library materials we do not already own for you at no extra charge through Interlibrary Loan:

Database Tutorials



This tutorial will provide you search techniques. Click HERE to complete the tutorial.


This tutorial builds on what you learned in the Ebsco tutorial. Click HERE to complete the tutorial. 


This tutorial will teach you to understand parts of a citation, interpret bibliographies and use bibliographies as a source of further information. Click HERE to complete the tutorial. 

Finding Articles in Databases

Identifying Empirical Research

There are several different sections of reports of empirical studies relating to the different steps of the scientific method.

Abstract: A report of an empirical study includes an abstract that provides a very brief summary of the research.

Introduction: The introduction sets the research in a context, which provides a review of related research and develops the hypotheses for the research.

Method: The method section is a description of how the research was conducted, including who the participants were, the design of the study, what the participants did, and what measures were used.

Results: The results section describes the outcomes of the measures of the study.

Discussion: The discussion section contains the interpretations and implications of the study.

General Discussion: There may be more than one study in the report; in this case, there are usually separate Methods and Results sections for each study followed by a general discussion that ties all the research together.

References: A references section contains information about the articles and books cited in the report.

Empirical Research Terminology

Language: If an article is empirical, it will include terms such as: measurement, reports, research statistics, etc. Here are some ideas for search terms that can be used to locate empirical research studies:

empirical             findings            reports            research “participant observation” selection criteria double-blind 

quantitative        qualitative        interview         feasibility “natural experiment” sample/sampling prospective

open-ended        case study         pilot project    evaluation “content analysis”  statistics        data randomized     

reproducibility   evaluation        results            method/ology   instrument measurement         validity reliability

experiment          population       research design    cross section survey       analytic longitudinal 

Length of Article: Empirical research articles are usually substantial (more than 1 or 2 pages) and include a bibliography or cited references section (usually at the end of the article).

Type of Publication: Empirical research articles are published in scholarly or academic journals. These publications are sometimes referred to as “peer-reviewed,” “academic” or “refereed” publications. Examples of such publications include: American Journal of Education, American Journal of Distance Education,Education Journal, and Education Quarterly Review.