Skip to main content

Special Education Research Guide: Finding Reading Research

This guide provides resources and information to help you get started with your research projects in the field of education and more specifically, special education.

Getting Started Checklist

  1. Pick a topic
  2. Summarize your topic into 1 or 2 sentences
  3. Identify the main concepts
  4. Think of possible search terms
  5. Decide how to combine your search terms
  6. Select what databases and resources you want to use
  7. Consider any other criteria you want to include
  8. Connect to the database and enter your search
  9. Revise your search as you go until you are finding relevant search results

Need help with any of these steps? Ask a librarian or try the Forming Your Search Strategy worksheet in the Important Forms box.

  Important Forms

Selecting a Topic

Pick a topic that you are intersted in or that is relevant to you whenever possible. Need ideas? Try doing a broad search in one of the education databases on one or more of these subject areas:

  • literature appreciation
  • reading
  • reading ability
  • reading achievement
  • reading attitudes
  • reading comprehension
  • reading difficulties
  • reading fluency
  • reading instruction
  • reading motivation
  • reading strategies
  • reading writing relationship

Find additional subjects by browsing the Thesaurus in the ERIC database. Take a look at the articles for something that catches your eye and take a look at the Subjects listed under the citation information in your results list. These Subjects can give you search terms to use to narrow your search down. You can also combine other search terms such as:

"reading difficulties" and autism


"reading motivation" and "middle school" and students