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EDL 561: Development of Postsecondary Education: Research Project Suggestions

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

For this project, you may need to use primary sources in addition to secondary sources. The links below take you to more information about primary sources and their use.

History of an American Institution of Higher Education

If you choose to write your research paper about the history of an American institution of higher education, here are some suggested resources and search terms.

Books:

Suggested SOUTHcat keyword searches:

"University of South Alabama" history [use the name of the college or university you are researching]

"universities and colleges" "united states" history

"universities and colleges" Alabama history [use the state in which the institution you are researching is located]

"African American universities and colleges" history

"private universities and colleges" history

"community colleges" history

College/University Archives:

If you are geographically convenient to the institution you are researching, consider visiting the institution's archives or library special collections related to the institution. In addition to histories of the institution, archives are a rich source of primary source documents such as university catalogs, publications, yearbooks, and student newspapers.

Newspapers:

For coverage of a particular event in the institution's history, newspaper accounts can be a valuable primary source. Historical newspapers may be available in microfilm and electronic formats; check Our Journal List for availability.

Journals:

To see individual journal titles related to the history of education, use the browse option on the Our Journal List page. (Select Social Sciences, then Education, then History of Education.)

To search for articles from a variety of journals at once, search an article database from the Articles, Indexes, and Databases page, or the Finding Journals & Articles tab on this guide. Your best bets for this class are: Education Research Complete, Professional Development Collection, Academic Search Complete, and JSTOR. If you are researching a for-profit institution, you may also wish to search business databases such as Business Source Premier.

Example search: Suppose you have chosen the University of Alabama as your institution, and you are looking for accounts of the university as it underwent integration. Try using the search terms "University of Alabama" and integration. Most databases have multiple search boxes; when this is the case, put each concept in a separate box to improve your results.

History of an Aspect of American Higher Education

If you choose to write your research paper about a particular service, function, or issue related to American higher education, here are some suggested resources and search terms.

Books:

Suggested SOUTHcat keyword searches:

"college students"

"universities and colleges" accreditation

"distance education"

faculty college?

"college costs"

"adult education"

curricul? college?

Journals:

To search for articles from a variety of journals at once, search an article database from the Articles, Indexes, and Databases page, or the Finding Journals & Articles tab on this guide. Your best bets for this class are: Education Research Complete, Professional Development Collection, Academic Search Complete, and Sage Journals Online.

To see individual journal titles related education, use the browse option on the Our Journal List page. (Select Social Sciences, then Education, then the subject of your choice.)