Why Writing Works

Disciplinary Approaches to Composing Texts

Research in Special Education

By Professor LeAnne Syring

Finding credible sources

A credible source can be identified by checking first, who is the author? A credible source will cite their sources. Check the date of the source to assess how current the information is. The field of education changes fairly rapidly; however, basic information such as child developmental milestones may remain constant. Consider also the author’s purpose. Is the author trying to persuade, inform you in a neutral way, or perhaps receiving funding or backing from a particular source? When examining journal articles in education, often a peer-reviewed journal is considered the most credible source. 

Primary scholarly journals

Here are some scholarly journals in child development and early education (links require SMSU StarID login): 

Trade publications

There is an overwhelming amount of trade publications in the education field. One such example is Ed Week. This publication shares hot topics and conversations happening in the field of education. Trade publications can be used to see the latest “buzz”. A class assignment may require you to select a topic and you draw a blank, look to a trade publication to find up to the date topics and ideas.

Open Internet resources

Blogs and websites provide a glimpse into what is happening in the ‘real’ world of teaching through the eyes of someone in the field. These resources can be useful to both students and researchers as another source of what is happening in the classroom in ‘real time’.

Technology, including Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, and websites have provided the opportunity to share simpler and easily accessible. As in all disciplines, when looking for research or specific information it is best to check the sources you are using. Professional journals are the accepted resource for valid and reliable information.

Government agencies

Funding for education is continually being reviewed. School systems may be in the public domain and receive funding directly from the government. Research provides the background needed to fund different programs or services needed.

Statement of ethics and research

The Ethical Standards of Research can be found in this link: Before any research can be done involving human subjects, it must be reviewed by an Institutional Review Board.


View a video on research and documentation in Special Education. 


Special Education: Disciplinary Perspective. 

Writing in Special Education

Reading in Special Education

Documentation in Special Education