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PSY345 Exceptionality: Disability and Giftedness – Finding Non-Scholarly Narratives

This guide collects together resources useful in PSY345 where non-scholarly narratives and cases are the basis of term paper.

What is a Case Study?

"Case Studies are reports of case materials obtained while working with an individual, a group a community or an organization."

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. (p.11).

In your assignment:

Tell the story --> Find a personal narrative in the popular media (magazines, newspapers, blogs, or in a book).

Identify the debate --> Is there a controversy about treatment, education, etc? (A controversy is a dispute or a discussion of contrary opinions.)

Present your thesis --> Your original idea about the case that you support through rational arguments; blueprint for your analysis of the controversy.

Controversy (n.). (2013). In Oxford English Dictionary online. Retrieved from

Ulrich's Periodical Directory

To determine whether a resource is popular, consumer or trade (i.e.: non-scholarly), use Ulrich's Periodical Directory. Search for the source title:

then click on the title for more information, and scroll down the record to find this type of information:

ulrich's search for non-scholarly source

Notice that the TITLE of the magazine listed above gives a good description of its scope.  Scroll down to SERIAL TYPE; it is MAGAZINE, a non-scholarly resource.  Also note CONTENT TYPE, which is CONSUMER, also non-scholarly in nature.

Searching the following databases will help you find many non-scholarly sources.

Remember to review and adjust source and document format search limits in the Advanced Search menu:


ProQuest indexes articles from journals, popular magazines and newspapers. Searches can be limited by publication type, including magazines, newspapers and trade publications:

You can build searches using Boolean logic operators, as illustrated here:

proquest search format


The major index for education, ERIC provides access to a broad collection of resources on education research and information. ERIC indexes journal articles, books, research syntheses, conference papers, reports, and other education-related materials.

Some of the ERIC-specific publication types which may help you find narratives include: book reviews and books, creative works, ERIC documents, historical materials and "reports - descriptive." One can search ERIC using an ISSN you got from Ulrich's in a previous step.


A global news and business information service that combines the content sets of Dow Jones Interactive and Reuters Business Briefing. While Factiva's primary goal is to provide information to the business community, it excels at indexing international popular periodical literature and Web resources. When one is working in Factiva's Search Builder, one can narrow down to searching only "general interest publications," a subset of general popular sources. A limited number of users may use Factiva at UofT at any given time.

Child Development & Adolescent Studies

Covers current and historical literature related to growth and development of children through the age of 21. Child Development & Adolescent Studies provides book reviews and abstracts of articles from journals, and a bibliography of technical reports, books, book chapters, theses and dissertations covering social sciences and biomedical subjects.Publication types for which one can search include case study, book, periodical and "primary source document," which may include interview transcripts.