INT 201 Simson

last modified 2018-09-05T14:44:27-04:00

This guide contains information and sources to help you complete your research assignment. If you need any further help, please contact Stephanie Miranda at miranda_sr@mercer.edu, or ask a librarian at the Reference Desk. 

Research

Note that the resources below are by no means exhaustive. If you cannot find the information you need in the sources below, try to think of other interested parties who might keep track of the information you need. Keep in mind, you may need to speak to administrators or other individuals at specific schools.

Georgia Education Statistics:

School Performance and Report Card - maintained by the State of Georgia's Office of Student Achievement, this website includes statistical data broken-down by county and/or school. The data reported here is intended to meet state and federal laws.

Georgia Department of Education Data & Reporting - maintained by the Georgia Department of Education, this site includes a variety statistical data on the various schools in the state of Georgia. 

Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education - independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit working to be Georgia’s foremost change agent in K-12 public education -- Look at their reports & issues to watch.

Websites:

Data USA - free platform that allows users to collect, analyze, and visualize shared U.S. government data -- search for Macon-Bibb County, GA

City-Data.com - free platform that allows users to view data from a variety of government and private sources -- search for Macon, GA. Specifically, good for looking at poverty rates.

Georgia Appleseed, Center for Law & Justice - The Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public interest law center with the mission to increase justice in Georgia through law and policy reform and community engagement. Good for finding school suspension rate.

Child Welfare League of America - Provides information about children and families.

Georgia Department of Community Affairs - Provides some information on homelessness in Georgia

National Education Statistics:

National Center for Education Statistics Data Tools - a variety of search tools providing access to educational statistics for schools across the country. While this is national in scope, information on individual schools is available.

Digest of Education Statistics - various data tables with nation-wide education statistics, maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Useful Databases:

Education Journals (ProQuest) - Covers not only the literature on primary, secondary, and higher education but also special education, home schooling, adult education, and hundreds of related topics.

Education Full Text (EBSCO) - Includes a wide range of contemporary education issues, including government funding, instructional media, multicultural education, religious education, student counseling, competency-based education, and information technology.

Useful Information:

Search Strategies and Tips - describes a variety of different search strategies that can help you research more efficiently

Evaluating Information - a basic guide to evaluating sources. When looking at statistical data, you should check into who collected and/or reported the data. Most importantly, think about the data you find - does it make sense? Do the numbers seem off in any way? Remember that it is tempting for schools to report false data in some cases! Try to verify facts whenever possible.

How to find Newspaper Articles - you may want to search local newspapers for information about the school or school district. This can help you get a sense of the general perception of the school, as well as any particular issues they're facing, or recent successes.

APA Citation Style

Below are examples you will need for this assignment. More information and examples are available here. You can also ask a librarian to help you review or create citations.

How to cite an online data set:

Point readers to raw data by providing a Web address (use "Retrieved from") or a general place that houses data sets on the site (use "Available from"):

  • United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2008). Indiana income limits [Data file]. Retrieved from http://www.huduser.org/Datasets/IL/IL08/in_fy2008.pdf

How to cite interviews, emails, etc. you collect directly from people at a school:

Unless formally published these do not need to appear in the reference list. HOWEVER, they must be cited in-text as a "personal communication." Be sure to name the person (or position of the person if they wish to remain anonymous) either in the sentence or in the citation:

  • "...believes the extra-curricular activities available are adequate to students' needs (math teacher, personal communication)."
  • "....according to a math teacher at the school, adequate extra-curricular activities are available (personal communication)."