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SED 220 - Exceptional Children

This guide is designed to assist you in locating the sources needed for the literature review assignment.

Course Assignment

Course Assignment


This page provides an overview of your assignments and where to begin.

Details on your Powerpoint Presentation can be found under the Guides page, where you can also access how to develop a topic and write a Research Paper.

Assignment Details

In Class Session

Goals for this class session

Goals for these two sessions are:

  • Understand the difference between search engines and databases --- how does Google/Scholar differ from proprietary databases. 
  • Utilize the academic sources that achieve the best results for this class assignment.
  • Hands-on exploration in Academic Search Premier (general database), ERIC, LexisNexis (education law resource) databases. Where to search.
  • Introduction and practice: Boolean and Subject Searching.   How to search using Boolean and subject searching.
  • Tips for finding precise, relevant academic articles.
  • Discuss and apply principles of proper APA citation format.

Assignment Details

Course Assignments

The Assignment

You will write two well-researched papers.

 Exceptionality Paper:

·         Select a specific exceptionality to research and write a 2 page paper.

·         Explain the typical characteristics and how it can impact individuals over a life time.

·         Explain how learning may be impacted by the exceptionality (positive and negative aspects).

·         Explain how home life may be impacted with a member who has the exceptionality (positive and negative aspects).

 Formal Paper:

·         Research and select two instructional strategies that have proven to be appropriate for students with exceptionalities.

·         Instructional strategies need to be evidence-based practices for the selected exceptionality in the first paper.

·         Write a well-researched 3-5 page paper that will synthesize your learning from the course and assignments. 

 Exceptionality and Formal Papers Guidelines:

You will need at least 2 research-based articles that have been written within the last seven years (or approval from instructor) for each of the (Exceptionalities and TU Formal) papers. Your text or books do not count as part of the 2 research-based articles.

·         Use APA for all in-text citations, cover page, and reference page.

·         The paper will need to be double spaced, 1 inch margin, 12 Times Roman Font. Please see the rubric in syllabus.

·         The Schedule Chart below contains the due dates. 

·         Submit the two papers electronically into Blackboard.


Exceptionalities Paper

TU Formal Paper

2 Research-based journal articles on a specific exceptionality. All criteria from above are included and aligns with the exceptionality.

2 Research-based journal article on 2 different instructional approaches proven to be effective for the exceptionality.


Key points from the exceptionality paper with the 2 references included.


Biblical perspective using APA form for citations.


Summarized and explained instructional approaches.

Articles need to be summarized and applied to the paper’s content.

Explain your education major and how knowledge from course and researched for the two papers will impact your professional practice.

Professional implications

Total of 4 research-based articles (2 are from the Exceptionalities paper)


















Handout and Papers Roundtable Presentation

·         Prepare a 10 minutes roundtable presentation and discussion that engages the class.

·         Prepare appropriate materials to use in during the presentation that outlines your research thesis and key findings.

·         Presentation needs to include a short discussion with question(s) or scenario prompts for the audience.

·         Make all materials visually professional and interesting.


 Professional Journals:

·         Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis

·         Journal of Learning Disabilities

·         Journal of Teaching and Special Education

·         Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

·         Journal of Special Education


Law Presentation:

 You will work in a group to present to the class a 10 - 15 minute mini lesson on three significant case laws that has shaped special education to be what it is today. You will be provided with a menu to choose from for this assignment.


·      Presentation will include information on each of the case laws.

·      Presentation will include an explanation of the legal aspects.

·      Presentation will include how the outcome(s) has shaped the field of education. 

Where To Begin

Where to Begin

Linda's Recommendation for the Best Starting Point

Reference resources (encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and biographies) may be found in both print and online formats. This is often the best place to get started when trying to determine a good research topic. You will find an overview or summary of the topic or issue along with key words, legal cases, and other information. These reference sources are not considered primary sources but they will frequently lead you to excellent primary sources that you can use.Here is one good starting point.

Page Bottom


Beginning Steps

There are many places to start your search. I will use as my example the research question:

What does the literature say about different strategies for  teaching hearing impaired children in an English as Second Language elementary classrooms in the United States?

Here is a search strategy that I recommend for beginning your search, no matter what your topic might be.

1. CREDO  

In the search box: "hearing impaired" "teaching strategies" "english language teaching" 

Another search might be: "hearing impaired" international children

Why did I include quotation marks around "hearing impaired"? This connects the two words into a phrase so I am not searching hearing OR impaired but "hearing impaired" as words right next to each other.

Next, carefully review the results. There are a couple of excellent articles that give you necessary background information as well as citations for some key resources in the bibliography at the end of the article. Note the options on the left side of the screen. You can also follow through to the links to Google Scholar and JSTOR using the same search string.  Academic Search Premier, however, yields no resuts. That is because you will need to employ Boolean searching of multiple search boxes mentioned in another box on this page.  

The number of words in the article may be important as you decide on which articles to read. Longer articles will have more than a quick defiintion and may provide additonal key information and terms and names of experts in the field of study of that topic. Also when using articles in CREDO or any other source you can use those sources to find additional ones as well as items that have used this article as a source. This is an important way of gathering all of the necessary information you need for a literature review. 

2.  WorldCat Research Station--Advanced Search.

Using the pull down box you may wish to choose Libraries Worldwide for a comprehensive search or If you want only what to find only what Taylor has access to or owns,  you may change the pull-down menu to limit only to Taylor. When using World Cat Research Station you should know that you can employ two kinds of searching kw: or su:

For example:  kw:children  "hearing impaired" "english as a second language" 

Using kw:  or su: is important in locating the best resources. After you have determined the search words you can choose to limit by formats, language and dates.

TIP: When you narrow by date using the facets on the left side you will only be able to search one year at a time. Since your assignment specifically limits searching to the last 5 years you might employ the Advanced Search option to limit by a range of dates. In that way you can search from 2010-2014 in one search along with the keywords you have selected.

In WorldCat Research Station as well as other databases subject searching (su:) gives even more precise results. . When you find articles that are specifically about your topic scroll down to the end of the article and note the subjects. For example: Deafness in children; Deaf children or Hearing impaired children.
3. Search Databases
Each databases will yield different results because the discipline and focus is different. While there may be some overlap be sure to search more than just one or two.  Be sure to search using a variety of terms and subjects. Keeping a list of terms and the many variations will help you as you survey the literature.