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ED 539: Legal and Legislative Issues

Keywords and Search Terms

Searching in the library's resources depends on the keywords - or search terms - you use. Instead of searching for a whole question or sentence, break your topic into keywords. Mix and match different combinations of keywords to get different results when searching.

If you have a particular policy or legislation in mind (e.g. Every Student Succeeds Act 2015), you can include keywords to describe it in your search.

For example:

  • kindergarten AND policy OR regulation
  • kindergarten OR preschool OR early childhood education
  • law OR legal OR legislation OR policy OR regulation
  • California AND Every Student Succeeds Act 2015

Tips for Finding News in Databases

Searching for newspaper articles in library databases is different from looking at news websites. 

Library databases contain the "paper of record," -- which may differ from the articles you see on the newspapers' websites. 

If you see an article online and want to find the full text in the library, you may need to search multiple ways:

  • Article title
  • Article author
  • Browse by date
  • Look at articles from several dates

Related Research Guides

Indentifying Media Bias

Knowing what's quality information and what's not is a challenge now that so much of it is online. It's important to remember that all news has an element of bias. Journalists will naturally and unwittingly choose to include certain pieces of information and leave out others, creating a story that is unique to their style and experience.  

In some cases, news publications have a clear agenda and will choose to only cover or report information that falls into certain categories. In others, you can read a more balanced spread of news that covers a wide array of perspectives. Knowing the context of an article can help you determine how you use it. As you read pay attention to a few characteristics that may hint at an overly biased news article:

  • Word Choice
  • Tone
  • Omission of Facts

If you notice a journalist using extravagant words, a non-objective tone, or selectively using facts to prove a point, look elsewhere for your news.