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Morris Library

COUN 576: Research in Counselor Education: Resources

Literature Review Tools

Searching Practice Activity

Find two resources appropriate for a literature review from your assigned research tool. 

  1. Reference tool - find definitions of terms or other background information normally from secondary sources
  2. ERIC (EBSCO) - find one journal article and one ERIC document (EDxxxxxxx in Accession Number field)
  3. Dissertations and Theses - find two dissertations
  4. Specialized database - PsycINFO or a database for another discipline
  5. Google Scholar - find two highly "Cited by..." articles
  6. Books (Morris Library catalog) - find a book currently available in Morris Library and another book that is available through I-Share, but not in Morris Library; must be available to check out

In selecting the citations your team of two will present to the class, consider the scholarly nature of the source including:

  • Credibility
  • Accuracy
  • Reasonableness
  • Support

Harris, R. (2010, November 22). Evaluating Internet research sources. Retrieved from:

Also consider and be prepared to present to the class:

  1. The step-by-step process by which you found your resource.
  2. Any prominent search features you would like to highlight or challenges you faced.
  3. The benefit of this research tool when compiling your resources.

Developing and Refining Your Topic

Develop your topic.

To find scholarly materials on your topic, you will need to understand the thesauri for the different databases you will be searching. You will also need to develop a list of terms and keywords that you use to search databases looking for new materials to add to your literature review.

Let's begin with a sample topic:  

Psychological effects of classism on school belonging: Implications for school counselors

What are the concepts represented in this topic?



Psychological effects

School counselors

What are some synonyms that might be used in books, articles, presentations, dissertations, and reports that address each of the facets of this research topic?             



Psychological effects

School counselors

social integration




identif* racism

psychological pattern*

guidance counselor*



career counselor*

social class

school counselor*



school social worker*

school psychologist*

Use the Thesaurus of each database to identify the appropriate "controlled vocabulary" for that database. Add these terms to your list. Try searching with different combinations of terms.

When you find a relevant source, examine the subject descriptors or terms that have been applied to that source. Add any new terms you find to your list. Use the terms to search by keyword in the databases, on the web, and elsewhere to identify new materials. Always review the references on each relevant item to identify other materials you should obtain.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar and Morris Library

1.  To Access Morris Library sources, click on Scholar Preferences.
2.  In Library Links, type in Southern Illinois University Carbonale.
3.  Select the box next to Find Full Text at Morris.
4.  When you find a resource in Google Scholar, don't try to access it with the title!!!!  Click on the Find Full Text @ Morris link.

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