This course explores the origins, development, and globalization of the English language.
There is no single prescribed way to do research: a good researcher will use a variety of sources and techniques and will understand that it is an iterative process. The following are some resources that will help you get started with your assignment.
- Global Englishes : a resource book for students
- English as a global language
- Analyzing English as a Lingua Franca. A Corpus-driven investigation
- Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics
- Encyclopedia of applied linguistics - entries prepared by invited scholars from around the world. Each entry includes bibliographies and suggested readings. Great resource for getting overviews of topics new to you, for exploring methodologies and theories.
- Oxford Dictionary of World History: This wide-ranging dictionary contains a wealth of information on all aspects of history, from prehistory right up to the present day.
- Country Information Guide: Compilation of resources which provide background information on countries.
Omni Search Tool
The one-search box on the Library's home page. Look for a specific title, or use keywords to find books and articles on a topic.
Use the filters on the results page to refine your search results. For example you can limit to just books or just journal articles.
Subject Specific Databases
Our subject or discipline specific databases may allow you to find sources you can't find through Omni. They may also include other features that Omni does not have. All will let you find journal articles. Some will also include other types of resources such as books, book chapters, theses.
- LLBA is a database specializing in topics related to languages and linguistics;
- ERIC is a database that specializes in all areas of Education,
- LearnTechLib (formerly EdITLib) specializes in resources related to use of technology in education...
- Scopus Multidisciplinary for sciences and social sciences with times cited info and links to citing articles plus lots of ways to analyze your results
- Web of Science Core Collection Multidisciplinary for all subject areas with times cited info and links to citing articles plus lots of ways to analyze your results
- You can find a list of recommended databases on the Applied Linguistics & Discourse Studies Subject Guide
- World Englishes: an international journal committed to empirical research on Englishes in their cultural, global, linguistic and social contexts.
- Asian Englishes: deals with various issues involved in the diffusion of English and its diversification in Asia and the Pacific
- Journal of English as an International Language: a publication that aims at providing on-line access to all those involved in the research, teaching and learning of English as an International language.
- Journal of Applied Linguistics: A broad range of applied linguistic themes, based on an open, peer review procedure, methodological debates, which will be of particular relevance to the wide audience of postgraduate & post-doctoral researchers.
The basis of just about any search is a keyword search, but there is a lot you can do to improve on a basic 1 or 2 word search
- Use advanced search screens: often they will have extra search parameters you can use
- Use truncation: most databases will let you use the * to pick up all forms of a particular word. Use it at the end of the root of a word. Example: technolog* will allow you to find not just "technology" but also technological, technologic, technologically....
- Make full use of all boolean capabilities (AND, OR, NEAR, NOT...), field searching, phrase searching, quotations...
For more information on searching in Omni see our Omni Help page. When searching other databases, look for links to help or search tips to find out what you can do there.
- Use correct terminology: most disciplines have very specific terminology that you may not be familiar with if you are just starting to research the subject areas. You can pick up on the vocabulary a number of ways:
- Do background reading (encyclopedias, introductory chapters in books, review articles..)
- Listen: in lectures, when there are guest speakers
- Browse abstracts of journal articles
- Look at assigned subject terms/descriptors that many databases assign to articles
- Use built-in thesauri that some databases have, e.g. LLBA, ERIC, Sociological Abstracts and browse for possible terms to use
- Use synonyms: Before you do your search, try and think if there are any commonly used synonyms for your keyword that might be useful. (background reading can be helpful in pointing some of these out). Example: if I am interested in second language learning in universities I might try searching for: universit* OR higher education OR college* OR undergraduate*
- If a database comes with a thesaurus explore it for suggested terminology and then use these terms in your search
Example: the link to the LLBA thesaurus in Proquest
Example: Thesaurus entry for "Language Acquisition. Note the broader, narrower, and related terms.
Follow citation trails
- Follow citation trails, in both directions:
- Look for links in databases to sources that have cited the article/book/essay more recently. This can lead you to the most current research on a topic
- Pay attention to the sources cited by books/articles you find: this can help you find foundational research in a given area
- Look for links to "related articles": these are sources that either share a number of cited references with the item you are looking at, or could be ones that other people who have looked at the article you found also looked at.
There are many ways to find relevant information beyond just searching in our databases. Don't discount using an interesting book or article as the jumping off point for other sources
- Trace backward: Use the list of references that come with books and journal articles (may sound obvious, but often overlooked!)
- Trace forward: we have a number of resources that will help you find out who may have cited a particular book or journal article more recently. The following databases all allow you to see who has cited something (See our Cited Reference Searching for more information):
Web of Science (covers Science, Social Sciences, and Arts & Humanities)
Note that you can register for a Web of Science account, which will then allow you to set up a citation alert to get notified whenever someone else cites this article:
On the search results page and on the page for individual articles you will see a link to the articles that have cited the one you are interested in. If you register for a Scopus account, you can then set up a citation alert (bell icon in upper right of screen) to be notified if someone new cites the article.
For this course, you'll be using the American Psychological Association (APA) style guide. Below are some resources that will help you with your citation.